In each program in a childcare facility, educators must incorporate opportunities for child development in areas like physical, intellectual, language, emotional, and social development. Children have natural skills and personalities to be nurtured and creatively awaken through a variety of unique activities that are age and ability appropriate and meet the care and learning needs of all.
Firstly, physical development is the development of the body which includes small and large muscle development, self-help skills, and good health and safety habits. Fraser Health (2011) states, small muscle development can be supported by activities that require children’s fingers to feel and grip small objects (p. 4). Some examples of activities that require children’s fingers and small muscles are Torn Paper Poppy Craft, Collaborative Fingerprint Peace Dove, and Garbage Truck Collage. Large muscle development is supported through the movement of children’s arms and legs. Activities that support these can be Fire Cup Knockdown, Paper Airplane Flying School, and Transportation Yoga. All the activities listed above can be found in Bitaa. Not only doing activities will support their physical development, simple tasks or everyday routines are factors that support self-help skills such as tying a shoelace, using cutleries, setting up the dinner table, etc. Additionally, having good health and safety habits will help children develop healthy physical development.
Intellectual development is the growth in children’s minds and thinking skills. There are diverse ways to trigger thinking. For example, educators can provide choices for children to determine and decide, an environment for children to explore and think creatively, and activities that trigger their imaginations and creativity. When children ask questions, act out their thoughts, or watch carefully at what educators or peers are doing, it creates curiosity. Curiosity creates reasoning. Reasoning supports children to problem solve (p. 7). Examples of activities that support curiosity are art, music, movement, nature walks, constructions, etc.
Language, Emotional, and Social Development
Lastly, language development is about understanding language and communication. It is not limited to physical writing and speaking the language. Picture reading, body language, and sign language are all included in language development. Having a range and diverse books will enhance children’s language development. Also presently participating in activities will support children’s language development. All these ideas sum up to the emotional and social development of the children. All these areas of development are critical factors in children’s lives. Emotional development is all about feelings (p. 14). Building self-esteem and acknowledging one’s identity and culture are an essential start to building relationships that support children’s social development. Supporting the ‘whole child’ idea will be critical to have a positive relationship and have a positive impact on their development. Having a present relationship with children supports both children and educators to build curricula together which will nourish their development inclusively.
Fraser Health. (2011). Program of Activities