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DOUBLE TAB TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET Understanding Preschooler Development Throws a ball Catches a ball Likes to chase Enjoys follow-the-leader Walks a straight line marked on the floor Walks a low, wide kindergarten balance beam Enjoys noncompetitive games Enjoys noncompetitive games Large-motor control and coordination is important because it enhances the child’s development in all other areas: • overall health and vitality • cognitive development—children are better able to explore the world around them • psychosocial development—children’s independence, self-suf- ficiency, self-image, and self-confidence are enhanced As you will see in later chapters, children with a positive self-image and strong self-confidence also have more successful interactions with others. A large part of the day should be set aside for preschoolers to use, expand, and refine their large-motor coordination. Regular large-motor activities lead to better physical fitness, which is made up of two components. Health-related fitness includes muscu- lar strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and heart-lung endurance. Performance-related fitness includes balance, coordination, agility, speed, and power. Both types are essential to healthy, sturdy, well-coordinated bodies, and promote bone growth in young children. In addition, healthy motor development plays a vital role in perceptual-motor development and learning. Young children’s “work” is play—in the case of preschoolers, active play—in which they use their whole bodies (as opposed to passive ac- tivities such as watching television or playing on a computer or Game Boy). Small-Motor Development As preschoolers get better at controlling their large muscles, their small muscles also become more developed. As a result, they become better able 8 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Copyright 2007 by Redleaf Press. Published by Redleaf Press. All rights reserved including electronic duplication and reproduction.