Your child is learning and developing all the time. Their brain is expanding in its capacity to take on new information, they’re becoming more curious, and they want to know how everything works. As a parent, this is a wonderful time, as you can really see your child starting to take on their own unique personality, and you can also see them developing new fascinations with things and concepts around them.
However, physical development is also something you need to focus on. Whilst every child does develop at a slightly different rate, there are milestones which most 6-7 year old children will start to hit.
Children at this age are certainly very active, and want to get up and move around a lot. They want to play, run, and explore, and that can be a handful as a parent, especially if you have more than one child! Here at London Governess we understand just how difficult it can be for a parent who is trying to juggle a busy work life and helping to encourage their child to learn about the environment around them, as well as helping them to hit their developmental milestones, both physically and mentally. As a result, we offer a range of childcare professionals who can help to encourage your child through play and learning. For instance, a governess would be a fantastic addition to your family, helping your child to develop, learn, and grow in confidence.
Of course, it’s always useful to know about the particular milestones for each age group. This helps you to understand whether your child is on target to hit these developmental stages, and it also gives you information on what you can do to help encourage them too. Understanding the best route forward is vital and again, this is something a governess could help you with.
To help you understand the physical development milestones of a 6-7 year old, let’s explore in more detail.
Age 6-7 Physical Development Milestones
At this age, children need to have plenty of time up and about, running around, exercising, moving their bodies, and playing whilst learning. This helps them to understand their own bodies a little better, helps them to understand the importance of being active, and also helps to develop coordination and balance to a greater degree.
Of course, children of this age also have a tendency to want to spend a lot of time in front of the TV or on devices, such as iPads and games consoles. Whilst there is nothing wrong with allowing some time on these devices, the amount of time should be limited. Setting a healthy boundary on how much time is allowed on devices and in front of the TV will help your child to develop physically, in line with the milestones expected for their age.
At the age of 6-7 years, motor skills are becoming more prevalent and sophisticated and again, that means as much moving around as possible. Team sports are ideal for this, as these sports also help to encourage other skills, such as team work, sharing, etc. Many sports teams start to welcome children of this age group, so if your child enjoys a particular sport, getting them involved with local teams may be a great help in terms of their overall development and of course, to help them meet other children and develop socially.
The major physical developments at this age include:
- Develop large and small muscle coordination, usually via running and playing sports
- Improve general hand-eye coordination. This is especially useful via playing sports and games, which is certainly something a governess could help you with
- More control and accuracy when writing and drawing
- Greater coordination when moving, especially if you ask them to dance to a beat
- The ability to ride a bike without stabilisers
- Many children learn to swim at this age, and if they can already swim, they often become stronger swimmers around this time
- The ability to balance on one leg; overall balance skills are greatly improved at this age, and a child is usually able to climb, run, skip, and hop with ease
- Can catch a ball more often than they drop it, through greater hand-eye coordination
- By the age of 7, children can use several different motor skills at one time, such as running and kicking a ball as they move
- Many 7 year olds start to develop an interest in art, as they are now able to use brushes and pencils with more control and general precision
As you can see, the major physical developments between the ages of 6-7 years all stem around coordination, balance, and motor skills. These will have been developed in the years previously but at this age, the precision and ability to use different movements together come to the fore.
How to Encourage These Physical Milestones
It’s vitally important that adults give their children the right guidance in terms of activities to encourage their physical development. Of course, when you’re busy with work and a million other tasks, it can be all too easy to let your child sit in front of the TV or play educational games on their tablet. Whilst that might help their mental development, it’s not going to help them physically.
Employing the services of a governess takes this task off your hands and allows you to do whatever you need to do, safe in the knowledge that your child is out playing, exercising, and doing all the things they need to do in order to develop along with their physical milestones.
For instance, a governess could take your child to the park and play games with them, or could take them to join a sports club, taking them to training sessions etc. A governess could also help your child to express themselves creatively with paintbrushes and drawing with pencils. All of this goes a long way to improving you child’s chances of hitting those development milestones.
Ensuring that your child has the chance to engage in different physical activities is also key at this age. It’s a good idea to do something together as a family, such as going for a hike to the park to play a game of football together. Children should have around an hour of physical exercise every day via activities such as this, and that can even be something like heading out into the garden and playing a game of catch – it doesn’t have to be full on exercise on a constant basis.
Because we know that children learn by example, it’s also important that they see their parents also being as active as possible. This will encourage them to do the same and understand the importance of being active and healthy in life. Of course, this also means limiting the amount of time they spend in front of the TV, gaming devices, and tablets, usually to around 1-2 hours every day, and no more. In the time they’re not sat down in this way, they can be more active, even if that is sitting at the table and drawing, or dancing around to some music.
Much of this also involves the subject of healthy eating and diet. This age is the ideal time to show your child the importance of proper nutrition and by doing so, they will have less of a chance of leading an unhealthy life and ending up obese. As a nation, we have a huge problem with childhood obesity, which also extends into adulthood. By addressing this problem early on and showing your child that healthy eating can be fun, you will sidestep the problem.
This means encouraging your child to go food shopping with you, as well as involving them in meal preparation. Of course, children are allowed a treat every now and again, but this should all be done in moderation. You can do this by helping your child understand that sweets, chocolates and crisps are delicious but that they’re also very unhealthy if you eat them every day. Then when they do get to have them as a treat, they’ll not only appreciate them more but they’ll enjoy them more too.
The final point to remember is that children all develop at slightly different rates. If your child isn’t doing all of the above by the age of 7, it’s not something to be terribly concerned about. However, keeping an eye on their development and encouraging them through active play is something you should focus upon.
A governess can help your child to hit their physical development milestones and can inform you of any issues they think might need action. However, some physical exercise every single day is the major do for children this age, and by doing that, most children hit their milestones quite easily. By encouraging them to be more active overall and not to sit in front of the TV or their iPad, they’ll understand health and wellbeing, which sets them up for a healthier life over the long-term.