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Curriculum > Preschool > What We Teach > Physical Development

Physical Development and Health

girls with ball (Gregory Fox Photography)

Promoting Movement Abilities, Fitness, and Healthy Behavior

Preschoolers are physically active, and HighScope teachers use children's physical actions as a gateway to learning in all areas of the curriculum.

HighScope helps educators develop effective, engaging, teaching strategies and learning activities that promote the sequences of physical development that are essential for this age group. Learning personal care skills and acquiring habits that foster lifelong health are another important part of this curriculum area.

Key Learning Areas for Physical Development and Health

The curriculum emphasizes movement experiences built around the preschool key developmental indicators (KDIs) in physical development and health listed below. HighScope emphasizes that although children grow and develop on their own, they need the support of adults who teach intentionally to develop physical abilities and healthy habits to the fullest extent possible. With the current emphasize on preventing childhood obesity, there is a growing awareness of the importance of this curriculum area in early childhood programs.

KDIs in Physical Development and Health

  1. Gross-motor skills: Children demonstrate strength, flexibility, balance, and timing in using their large muscles.
  2. Fine-motor skills: Children demonstrate dexterity and hand-eye coordination in using their small muscles.
  3. Body awareness: Children know about their bodies and how to navigate them in space.
  4. Personal care: Children carry out personal care routines on their own.
  5. Healthy behavior: Children engage in healthy practices.

More Information

For more information on HighScope's approach to physical development for young children see the Movement & Music section of this website. This section describes HighScope's Education Through Movement program and provides links to information on training and resources.

See also the the creative arts page in the preschool section for information on movement and music as means of self-expression for preschoolers.

Preschool Curriculum Overview

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