Activities to Observe a Child's Physical Development

Written by jack miller
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Activities to Observe a Child's Physical Development
It's easy to observe a child's physical development when they are active. (playing children image by Marzanna Syncerz from

Most children love to be active, whether they are engaged in outdoor games, indoor play, interacting with other kids or are on their own. Parents, teachers and other caregivers often have a desire to gauge a child's physical development. The best time to observe a child's physical development is when the child is engaged in activities that may test and challenge their abilities.

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On the Playground

A typical outdoor playground is a good environment for observing a child's physical development. If the playground is equipped with a climbing apparatus, watch the child as he attempts to reach the top of the apparatus. Depending on a child's age, this can be a difficult challenge as he determines the proper placement of hands and feet while climbing. If a child is on a swing set with a friend, observe the timing of the child's legs as she pumps them to continue swinging.

Sports Activities

Traditional sports and games can also be valuable in observing the physical development of a child. While playing kickball, gauge their sense of timing as they approach and kick a ball that is rolling toward them. If the game is basketball, can they bounce the basketball while walking or running? Even the act of playing with a frisbee can offer insight into how a child learns the proper techniques in throwing as well as catching.


Especially with young children, observing how they run can be valuable in determining their physical development. Running is a natural movement for most healthy children, with the legs and arms working in unison to propel them forward. Running skills also promote brain development. In addition, small children love to hop like a frog or even skip. All of these motor-skill activities can help caregivers form a sense of a child's physical development.

Around the House

If your home has stairs, toddlers will eventually attempt to conquer them. As the toddlers become confident walkers, watch their development over time as they climb the stairs in your home. The same method of observing a child's physical development can be used elsewhere around the house. If an adult is using a ladder for household chores and a child wants to try climbing the ladder, closely supervise while the feat is attempted.

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