As a parent, there are milestones that our children should be hitting that we can get concerned about. We often compare them to other children of the same age and wonder why another child seems to be streaks ahead regarding development. We stress about we are doing enough to enrich their lives to be hitting their milestones, whether they’ve inherited some terrible trait of ours, whether their daycare is doing enough for them, whether we should be feeding them different things to help… Being a parent is stressful!
When your child isn’t very physically coordinated, you will know it. If they are still babies, then they may not be learning to crawl and walk at the same time as other children. Often at this age, it isn’t too much to be concerned about. When your tot gets to the later end of the suggested time frame for that milestone, you might like to bring it up with your paediatrician, but before then it’s not usually necessary.
However, once they’ve started tottering around you might notice that they aren’t exactly as adept at manoeuvring their body in space as other children their age, or even younger children.
This is where rich physical play can really help in getting them more confident and adept both with their bodies in space and with interacting with their external environments. Seeing out unique and exciting physical environments designed specifically for their age group can get these skills motoring along. While they might have a range of small toys at home, landscaped play equipment is really necessary for them to interact positively with the world around them.
There will be a range of playgrounds in your area that has specific play equipment designed for your child. It is important to take your child out there and demonstrate how to do it yourself, so they have a teacher with how to interact with the components. While it might be second nature to you to climb that small ladder, they have never done it before and so they don’t know how without demonstrating. Playgrounds with lots of interesting equipment are good to go and try. And don’t just go to the same ones every time! Once your child has mastered the equipment at one playground, head out to others, so they get the full range of experience.
Adding a playground to your background is another great idea if you find that you don’t have a lot of your hands to be going out to parks, or there are no suitable ones in your area. A modular playground in your backyard can help your child play physically all from the safety of home.
Another thing to look at is how much playtime your child gets with other children – and children of varying ages. Socialisation is very important from a young age, as your youngster will learn from other children while watching how they play. If there is not a lot of socialisation in their day to day lives, then consider joining a playgroup or putting your child in a daycare for one day or a half day a week. You will likely find that their skills go up in a whole range of different areas, simply from having the chance to interact with other children for some hours. Some children may be shy, so it is important that they ease into these type of activities.
Some kids are just naturally a little uncoordinated (and become uncoordinated adults), whereas others just need a helping hand. Give your kid the best chance by employing these tips.