Identify stages of physical development of children from birth to 7 years

Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 3.11: Promote the physical development of children
Learning outcome: Understand physical development of children
Assessment criteria: Identify stages of physical development of children from birth to 7 years


Physical development plays a major role in how children learn and grow. During the first seven years of life, children undergo significant physical development, including changes in gross motor, fine motor, and language skills. This guide will provide an overview of physical developmental milestones during the infant and toddler years.

Physical Development During the Infant Stage (Birth – 1 Year)

Infants experience rapid physical growth during their first year of life. During this period, babies typically develop basic gross motor skills such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling, and walking. They also develop simple fine motor skills such as grasping objects with their hands and transferring objects from one hand to another. Babies begin to communicate by making sounds and gestures early on as well.


Physical Development Between One and Three Years Old

By the time a child is one year old, they should be able to crawl or walk short distances without assistance. During this period of life, toddlers continue to refine their gross motor skills by learning how to run, jump, throw a ball or catch it while standing on one footl By age two or three they should be able to draw simple shapes with a pencil or crayon and complete puzzles with only a few pieces. At this age they should also be able to understand simple instructions like “sit down” or “give me that toy” and start using words more fluently when communicating with others.

Physical Development Between Four and Seven Years Old

By four years old most children can dress themselves without assistance and have mastered basic gross motor skills such as running, jumping rope, hopping on one foot, skipping obstacles etc. Additionally they are usually able to catch small balls while moving around an obstacle course with ease. At this stage they can copy simple geometric shapes like squares or circles but may still struggle with writing letters or numbers due to lack of coordination between their eyes and hands. With regards to verbal communication they should be able talk fluently about topics they are familiar with while also constructing sentences correctly when talking about unfamiliar topics.



The early years of life play an important role in establishing good habits for physical development in children that will last throughout adulthood. Understanding what physical milestones your child should achieve during different stages helps you ensure that your child is developing normally which is especially important if you have concerns about any delays in development due to medical conditions or other factors such as environmental health hazards that could impede normal growth patterns . Therefore if you notice any signs indicating potential delays it is best you seek help from your pediatrician immediately so that corrective measures can be taken sooner rather than later for best results .

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