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TA K E H O M E FAMILY INFORMATION WATCH ME MOVE MY BODY! Children grow and develop at different rates. Some children are tall or short for their age. Some children seem thin, and some seem stout. Differences are normal and part of growing up, but if you are concerned about your child’s physical development, talk with your child’s doctor. Children also develop movement skills at different rates. As children’s body proportions change, they begin to de- velop a greater sense of balance. They also gain more control of their large-muscle movements, such as those used in running, jumping, and climbing. Differences in rates of development are normal. For example, a few chil- dren may be able to ride a two-wheel bicycle at age three, but most children will not develop this skill until age five, six, or even older! Children do not develop movement skills just from growing older. Move- ment and physical skill development takes time, instruction, and lots of practice. ENCOURAGE ACTIVE PLAY Play with your child, and offer encouragement as he or she practices new movement skills. Learning a new movement begins when your child sees the movement demonstrated by you or other children. New movements might include throwing a ball, jumping rope, or climbing the ladder on the slide. As your child tries new movements, support her or his efforts, and challenge her or him to explore ways to be successful. Your budding ball player may start by rolling a ball and tossing it underhand before trying to throw an over- hand pitch. Start slow and easy, and offer lots of praise and encouragement! Encourage your child to run, play, and be active whenever possible—both indoors and outdoors. From Fitness and Nutrition by Connie Jo Smith, Charlotte M. Hendricks, and Becky S. Bennett, © 2014. Published by Redleaf Press, This page may be reproduced for classroom use only. 17