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Physical Development

Physical development provides children with the abilities they need to interact with and explore their world. Children develop movement skills in similar order.  First they gain control of their neck, then they learn to roll, then how to sit and eventually, how to walk.1 These are some of the basic physical developmental milestones. You can help your child learn and practice new movement skills by playing and promoting physical activity.


Motor Development

Motor development is the process by which a child learns movement patterns and skills.

Fine Motor

Fine motor development refers to the ability to use little muscles in the eyes, face, toes, hands and fingers. 

  • Teach and encourage your child to do activities such as drawing, feeding themselves, tying shoes, building with blocks and doing up buttons and zippers.

Gross Motor

Gross Motor development refers to the use of large-muscle groups in the legs or arms.

  • Teach and encourage your child to do activities such as balancing, sitting, walking, running, standing, and changing positions. These activities are known as physical literacy.

Children come in all different shapes and sizes and grow in height and weight according to a regular pattern that is right for your child.3

Date of creation: February 24, 2015
Last modified on: January 11, 2016

Health Connection

Call Health Connection to speak with a Public Health Nurse from the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

  • 519-663-5317 ext. 2280
  • Monday - Friday
  • 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Physical Development


2Caring for Kids. 2014. Your Child’s Development: What to expect. Retrieved from
3Dieticians of Canada. 2014. Is My Child Growing Well? Retrieved from