Physical Development

The infant and toddler years are times of dramatic physical growth and development. In just a short time, children go from total physical dependence on parents and other adults to relative mastery over basic needs and self-initiated movement. During this time, children need to be able to move about freely in a safe environment to practice their newly emerging skills and gain self-confidence. They benefit from observing other children who are developmentally more advanced and can demonstrate facility with emerging skills.

At Sunshine Academy, infants and toddlers benefit from being able to observe preschool and pre-kindergarten children as they move about the school. Toddler one children further benefit from their close interactions with toddler twos. Our learning expectations of all of the children involve facility with large motor skills, fine motor skills, strength, balance, coordination and perceptual-motor integration.



Build body awareness, strength and balance

  • For infants, bounce in the exersaucer, pull up on the ballet bar, do “tummy time” on the mat, cruise about the room with teacher help
  • For toddlers, climb the toddler structure and slide down the slide, jump/dance to music, use the ride-on toys, build with hollow blocks
  • Sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” “Make a Motion” or “Hokey Pokey”

Develop large motor skills

  • Play games such as jump over a rope, tag, all fall down, basketball, t-ball, duck-duck goose
  • Do parachute games, use the see-me tunnel
  • Sing and dance to “Knees Up off the Ground”
  • Play musical chairs or freeze dance
  • Go for neighborhood walks, run in the park

Strengthen hand grasp, dexterity and other fine motor abilities

  • Do finger-plays such as itsy bitsy spider, open-shut-them, and where is thumbkin
  • Pick up cheerios and put them in a cup
  • Draw with crayons, paint with a brush
  • Put puzzles with various size pieces together
  • Use scissors, staplers, hole punchers, zippers and buttons, tweezers, peg boards, eye droppers, lacing beads and cards, key boards
  • Play music with drums, recorder, maracas

Develop perceptual-motor integration

  • Use a spoon or fork to pick up food and eat
  • Blow soap bubbles and try to catch them
  • Play catch with balls in the air or rolled back-and-forth on the ground
  • Roll balls down a ramp and try to catch them
  • Use stacking or nesting blocks to build towers
  • Play t-ball, throw balls in the basketball hoop
  • Roll different size balls and try to kick them