Find Your School

Found Near You

Our Blog: December 4, 2018

Developmental Domain Series: Physical Development

This month, let’s take a closer look at the Physical Development Domain, focusing on fine and gross motor skill development.

Physical development occurs most rapidly during the first two years of a child’s life. This period of a child’s life also sees the greatest brain development. In fact, during the first two years, the weight of the brain more than triples! During this time, children develop motor reflexes and will continue to develop fine and gross motor skills throughout childhood. Because of this, it is important to provide all children with activities that will promote development of these skills.

Here are some great ways for you to promote Physical Development at home:


  • Engage your baby in tummy time. This helps to build neck and upper body strength.
  • Give your infant a toy to grasp. Gently pull on the toy to promote grip strength.
  • Roll a ball to your baby. This promotes eye-hand coordination.


  • Provide your child with building and stacking materials such as blocks or cups. This promotes fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination.
  • Give your child opportunities to practice riding, pedaling, and steering a tricycle or walking and balancing with a pedal-less balance bike.
  • Model how to safely walk up and down stairs, using the handrail.


  • Set up an obstacle course for your child to run around. Watch for how well they are able to move around the objects, stop running, and then start again.
  • Draw and write with your child. Watch for correct grip, and show them the proper way if they are holding the pencil or crayon incorrectly. Shorter writing instruments are better for promoting the correct grip.
  • Using tape, make a series of connected lines on the floor. Walk on this course like a balance beam with your child to promote balance development.

School Age:

  • Play a game of catch with your child to help them practice catching a ball and throwing a ball accurately.
  • Play games such as ”Red Light, Green Light” where your child hops on one foot.
  • Be creative and work with your child to collect challenging objects that can be stacked, such as pebbles, coins, or pinecones. Build a structure with your child and encourage them to see how tall they can build it.


Here’s more great resources about how to support Physical Development at home:

Next month we’ll focus on the health and safety portion of the Physical Development Domain.

Miss the most recent article in our series? Read it here.

About the Author

Dr. Susan Canizares

Dr. Susan Canizares is the Chief Academic Officer at Learning Care Group, responsible for leading all aspects of the educational mission. Dr. Canizares earned her Ph.D. in language and literacy development from Fordham University and a master’s degree in special education, specializing in Early Childhood, from New York University. She has authored more than 100 nonfiction photographic titles for beginning readers. Some of her published credits include Side by Side Series: Little Raccoon Catches a Cold and A Writer’s Garden.