What Are Physical Development Needs of Children?

A child needs nourishment, sleep, love, attention and exercise for physical development, according to the Illinois Early Learning Project. Children also need activities and games that help develop motor skills and physical independence.

Exercise and physical activity help a child to develop a healthy weight corresponding with age as recommended by pediatricians. By preschool age, a child should physically be able to jump, stand on one foot, catch a ball and practice riding a bike or tricycle, explains Kendra Cherry for About.com. A child needs encouragement to stay active and healthy foods to maintain a healthy body.

A child’s physical development also relies on activities to develop gross motor skills; these include large body movements such as climbing, throwing, running, kicking and jumping. Fine motor skills take more practice and children may need help with grasping objects, putting together puzzles, drawing and painting to develop at a normal rate, notes Cherry. Children also need instructions and examples for developing motor skills during feeding to prevent spills and messes. Showing children how to use a fork and spoon helps them physically develop hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity. These activities may also help toddlers and young children gain independence and initiative to continue movement.