Physical Health and Motor Development

Component 1: Health and Safety Practices

Standard 1.a: Children engage in structured and unstructured physical activity.

By the following age ranges, children typically, for example:

  • Sustain physical activity for at least three to five minutes at a time
  • Participate in simple movement games with an adult (e.g., following a moving object or person with their eyes or body)
  • Participate in active physical play with an adult
  • Watch and often run when they see older children running
  • Attempt to try new games and toys
  • Stand with feet wide apart and sway to the sound of music
  • Wield larger toys with some accuracy (e.g., pounding on a pegboard and pegs or on a pounding board)
  • Back into a chair to sit down
  • Squat while playing
  • Carry a large toy while walking or playing
  • Sustain physical activity for at least 15 minutes at a time for at least 30 minutes total each day
  • Participate in outdoor play
  • Try new games and toys without assistance
  • Actively participate in games and dances
  • Carry bags or objects over short distances
  • Practice kicking, throwing, and running
  • Increase their amount of play and activity, using more muscles and for longer periods of time (e.g., at least 60 minutes total each day)

Standard 1.b: Children become increasingly able to identify unsafe situations and gradually learn strategies for responding to them.

By the following age ranges, children typically, for example:

  • Express discomfort or anxiety in stressful situations
  • Demonstrates a recognition of the difference between their primary caregiver and a stranger
  • Sometime respond appropriately to redirection given by an adult caregiver
  • Respond appropriately to redirection by adults unless too caught up in a game or emotion
  • Demonstrate a beginning understanding when adults communicate “stop” or “danger” in their home language by stopping or listening to adults
  • Hold hands briefly with adults when walking but often break contact when distracted by another person or object
  • Recognize or identify some harmful or unsafe objects and situations
  • Stop a behavior in response to direction by an adult
  • Understand and participate in the routine of holding hands with an adult when walking in public places
  • Seek an adult’s help in some unsafe or dangerous situations
  • Follow emergency routines after adult instruction (e.g., fire drills)
  • Recognize unsafe situations and tell an adult; alert adult when another child is in a dangerous situation
  • Understand the difference between “safe touch” and “unsafe touch,” especially if previously instructed
  • Communicate what the consequences are of unsafe behaviors
  • With adult assistance, look both ways before crossing the street
  • Follow safety rules with adult assistance
  • Recognize symbols or signs for danger (e.g., poison labels) and avoid those objects or areas
  • Understand the consequences of not following rules related to safety

Standard 1.c: Children develop self-help skills.

By the following age ranges, children typically, for example:

  • Fuss or cry when hungry and quiet down when picked up to be fed in a timely manner
  • Coordinate sucking and swallowing
  • Assist with self-feeding by holding a bottle or breast; turn their head away when full
  • Explore food with their hands and fingers (e.g., crackers and other easy-to handle foods)
  • Accept most basic care routines administered by adults (e.g., gum cleansing or nose wiping)
  • Relax during bathing routines
  • Babble or coo after diapering
  • Indicate their needs and wants (e.g., wanting food or a dirty diaper to be changed)
  • Point to food when wanting more
  • Feed themselves finger foods
  • Drink from a cup with some spilling
  • Drink from a straw
  • Use a spoon with some spilling
  • Accept more involved care routines administered by adults (e.g., tooth brushing)
  • Participate in handwashing with assistance
  • Participate in dressing or attempt to dress themselves
  • Remove some clothing
  • Use signs, body language, or vocalizations to seek out help from an adult
  • Feed themselves with spoon and fork (with some spilling) if early self-help skills are valued and taught in their family culture
  • Drink from a cup (with some spilling) if early self-help skills are valued and taught in their family culture
  • Participate in some self teeth-brushing while an adult is helping them brush their teeth
  • Indicate choices in clothes and shoes by gesturing or using simple words
  • Have limited control over bowels and bladder
  • Use a tissue when offered by an adult to wipe nose, face, or hands
  • Understand the difference between food and non-food items
  • Recognize when foods are new to them and choose whether to taste or not
  • Cooperate and assist with tooth brushing
  • Wash hands with assistance
  • Attempt dressing and undressing
  • Sit on a toilet
  • Obtain and use tissues to wipe their nose, face, or hands
  • Indicate when not feeling well
  • Help with mealtime routines, such as setting a table
  • Brush their teeth with assistance from an adult
  • Wash and dry hands with verbal prompts and support
  • Use a toilet
  • Cover their mouth when coughing
  • Dress or undress with minimal assistance
  • Put their shoes on but may need assistance tying them
  • Choose their own clothes to wear
  • Help in preparing snacks and meals
  • Demonstrate independence in personal self-care skills (e.g., washing hands, brushing teeth)
  • Dress or undress
  • Manage zippers, buttons, buckles, and Velcro
  • Tell an adult caregiver when tired
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