Childhood Physical Development Essay

1870 Words 8 Pages
Physical activity enhances children’s quantitative development within middle childhood, supporting growth toward healthy strong people, physically and psychology. Middle childhood is documented as being between the ages of six to ten years old. A lack of physical activity affects children across all areas of development; it is not restricted within the domain of physical development. Discussed within are the expectations of motor development within middle childhood, the benefits of physical activity and the consequences of prolonged inactivity. Along with how a student’s physical development facilitates or restricts development in other areas and how the learning environment can accommodate and support the physical needs of students. …show more content…
Children, who do not meet these developmental milestones, will find physical activity increasingly difficult which can affect their emotional and social wellbeing through middle childhood and beyond (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2009). The middle years see a slower growth in physique than in early years as children’s height and weight build on the current bone structures while further development occurs within cognitive domains. Additionally, significant methodical changes “occur with physical size and appearance” though neurological structures are foreseen as the most significant changes (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2009, p.159). Fine motor control typically follows gross motor development. Gabbard and Rodrigues (2007) state the critical period of development occurs between the ages of birth and nine years old as the “cerebellum controls posture and co-ordination” promoting dexterity of voluntary and involuntary movements (p.2). This expands over infancy, early and middle childhood highlighting how the stages of development are intertwined.

A lack of developmentally appropriate physical activity through early childhood, two to six years, may affect a child’s ability to fine tune gross motor skills into middle childhood creating a cascade effect through development. Gabbard and Rodrigues (2007) stated that “early movement experience is critical to optimal brain development” (p.2).