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Supporting physical development in early childhood
Supporting physical development in early childhood

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Week 2: Body systems, senses and physical development


Last week, you looked at children’s growth and development, and how these are influenced by multiple factors. As children grow and physically develop, their senses and systems also undergo rapid change.

This week you will explore the importance of the body’s senses and systems, and how these are intricately linked to good physical and mental development.

Young boy smiling whilst riding a bike in the woods
Figure 1

Section 1 Systems of the body, looks at the respiratory, circulatory, nervous and muscular-skeletal systems. Section 2 Developing senses discusses the body’s senses, including vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch, and also explores vestibular sense (sense of balance) and proprioceptive sense (sense of space). Finally, Section 3 Sensory rich environments explores how babies and young children use their senses in their play and everyday lives.

By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • understand the four key body systems that are related to children’s health and physical development
  • describe how the body receives information from its seven senses
  • discuss how the senses enable learning and development
  • identify how the environment can optimise children’s sensory development.