If we want our children to move mountains, we first have
let them get out of their chairs.
Physical health and wellbeing capture a range of developmental and wellbeing indicators. Children’s physical development is generally discussed in terms of motor coordination. Motor coordination, and fine and gross motor enable children to interact with and manipulate their physical environment. Physical health also includes children’s management of their health and hygiene.
Good nourishment, rest and physical comfort are often taken for granted, but without these, children are unable to muster the energy and focus they need to engage in learning. When children’s physical and health needs are met, they can use opportunities in their environments to practice emerging skills and learn new skills.
Gross motor skills not only enable children to navigate physical obstacles, they also underpin children’s ability to sit in a classroom. Core muscle strength underpins children’s physical endurance and allows them to focus on the task at hand. Fine motor skills empower children to hold a pencil and cut with scissors. When children come to school with good dexterity they can build on these skills and engage with writing, drawing, and information technology.
In the early years, children’s growing physical independence sees them move from wholly dependent on Educators to independent agents who are able to clothe, feed, toilet, and clean themselves.