The physical stage takes place naturally but children must have opportunities to develop their natural skills. Children will need support to develop their gross and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills use the large muscles in the body, arms and legs, for example crawling, walking and throwing. Fine motor skills use the smaller muscles in the fingers for example using a pencil, fastening buttons and using a knife and fork.
The communication and intellectual area of development concerns a childs language skills and learning ability. The number of opportunities and experiences a child has been given from an early stage can have an affect on the intellectual development of a child. The “nature versus nurture” debate describes two different theories of a child’s intellectual development. Some psychologists believe that a childs intellectual ability is something that they are born with, nature. While other psychologists believe that a child’s intellectual development is dependent on the opportunities that they have been given, nurture.
How a child feels about itself, others and the confidence they gain are all part of their social, emotional and behavioural development. During this development stage a child will learn about the kinds of behaviour that are acceptable and how to become more independent. For a child to develop to the best of their ability they will need to have a secure environment where they feel safe.
From 0-3 years is a period of great physical development. In their first year a child will develop from having very little control over their body to being able to sit up, roll, crawl and hold objects. A child will start to walk, climb and play with a ball in their second year. As the ability to control their movement becomes greater they will be able to hold smaller objects, feed