Children are active curious and constantly moving. The role of movement in the development of young children is of critical importance. Movement affects not only their co-ordination and physical ability but also on their learning ability and self esteem. Movement enriches all areas of a child’s life.

Early childhood development is an automatic sequence of events which are predictable and sequential and result in the capacity to learn. We learn through our sense of touch, sight, hearing, taste and smell and also through our internal sense of movement, balance, body position and muscle control. Genetics and environment also affect our development.

Motor development occurs as the children gain control over their bodies. They need to develop three basic levels:

  • Reflex motor – automatic movement such as breathing, sucking, rolling and creeping.
  • Gross motor – large muscle movements such as jumping and kicking a ball.
  • Fine motor – small muscle movements such as writing, using a knife and fork, tying shoelaces.

These levels build on each other. If one level is not properly developed there will be problems in the levels above it. Proper reflex development is basic and vitally important for complete motor development.

It should be remembered that each child is different and develops at a different rate.