How Your Child Learns About Their Body In the First Six Years
WHY PLAY IS VERY IMPORTANT
While video games give a better picture of things and learning how to push that button they are detrimental to a child’s growth. The only exceptions would be the WII or anything else that gets the child to move his or her body and helps their bodies and minds to grow into the world around them. They need to learn how to move their bodies and how to function socially with others and also how to cope with their emotions and how their brains work.
In this article I will point out some of the physical things that children need to learn how to do. These things require the use of their whole bodies and their growth that takes them to a higher level. This is needed throughout the life span. There are 2 main skills a child is learning through their lives. Fine Motor skills are things like working their fingers. They use these to do things like pick up and object. The larger “GROSS” motor skills are things like learning to crawl and sitting up and later learning to balance such as on a balance beam and so on.
INFANT TO TODDLER
While this age is learning how to get attention to its needs it is also learning and flexing their body to do what they want. Now most parents will not get video or electronic games for this age, I have seen them advertised on the T. V. This is not a good idea. While the child’s visual is coming into the picture there are other things that need just as much attention.
Gross and Fine Motor Skills learned in this age group include:
At the age of 3 months: lifting their head, 4 to 5 months of lifting their chest and rolling over.
At 7 to 8 months they can stand on their own and take their first steps leading into walking alone without support between the ages of 12 to 13 months of age. This progresses and by the age of 2 they are walking everywhere and getting into anything and exploring their world.
Fine Motor Skills they are learning and can only be learned by doing are:
Coordination of their extremities: Skills would include holding onto objects, puts object in mouth, can hold an object in both hands and they can also transfer an object from hand to hand. These are learned in the first 6 months of a child’s life.
It is about the age of 7 months that they can grasp and pull a string use their fore fingers and thumb to hold onto objects. They also can by the age of 1 year, put objects into a container and hit objects such as pots and pans or other things together. No video games, with lots of graphics, is going to teach them these skills.
By the age of 2 they can draw crude pictures if shown how to draw, turn the door knob with both hands, put pegs in holes on a large peg board, and they can zip and unzip large zippers. Good thing for this is those cloth books that have zippers, button, and ties to help them develop their fine motor skills.
THE PRESCHOOL YEARS
No need for video games here but more for actual doing things with the body. Here they are still working on their muscle groups. At this stage of development they learn much from doing and moving about and exploring and growing.
Fine Motor Skills that are learned include:
From the age of 3 they can cut paper with SAFE scissors, draw a circle plus sign and they can paint using their index finger. Through these they are learning and gaining their finger dexterity and small muscles.
Age 4 and 5 they can string their shoes, open and closes clothespins, can build a tower and bridge with blocks and can print name. Another thing they can do is pour liquid from one container to another.
At age 6 they should be able to fold paper, trace hand, draw shapes, and use crayons correctly for their age.
Working on their Gross Motor skills they need to Play and have fun and run around. This doesn’t only make them sleep better at night but it expends their pent up energy and develops large muscle. Not many will tell you that running around gets the oxygen running in the brain which makes them think clearer and focus better.
They should be able to throw a ball, ride a bicycle, catch a big ball, jump from a height of one foot and hop several times with both feet. These are learned at the ages of 2-3 years old.
By the time they are 6 years old they should be able to do many things and can only learn them by actual playing in the yard and not sitting at a computer or video game. Some skills they should learn are throwing and catching bouncing balls, kick a ball, roller skating and skipping rope.
**Children who watch too much Television and play too many video and computer games loses much of their creativity and verbal skills along with social learning skills. It is best for a child to go out and play to learn these things. While it isn’t only television and violent games that cause violent behavior in children it does play a role in their social behavior and bullying.