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Children move through a developmental progression in the acquisition of motor skills. There are four phases of motor development: the reflexive movement phase, the rudimentary movement phase, the fundamental movement phase, and the specialized movement phase. The fundamental movement phase occurs between the ages of 2 and 7 as children gain control over their gross motor and fine motor skills.
The formal operational stage is the last of four stages proposed by Jean Piaget to describe the cognitive development of infants, children, and adolescents. The formal operational stage occurs with children from 12 years into adulthood. Emerging abstract thought and hypothetical reasoning mark this stage of cognitive development.
Emotional development refers to the ability to recognize, express, and manage feelings at different stages of life and to have empathy for the feelings of others. Emotional development is largely affected by relationships with parents, siblings, and peers.
Peer pressure occurs when an individual experiences persuasion to participate in the same activities as those in their peer group, or to adopt similar values, beliefs, and goals as the group. For a child, their peer group is usually, but not always, of the same age group.


Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi was a social and educational reformer and writer in Europe during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He believed that society could best be changed by education and that reform began with assisting the individual students to help themselves.
Friedrich Froebel was truly a pioneer in early childhood education. He established a new type of school for three and four year old children in 1837, which he called a child's garden or kindergarten. Prior to this there had been no educational training for children under the age of seven.


Soccer is a simple team sport that is enjoyed by children as young as three years of age. The game is an inclusive activity that involves children of varying shapes and size, since the physical size of the players is not an important factor in their success as players.
The interaction of the mind and the body comes through the experiences of the senses. Countless amounts of sensory information enter the brain all the time from not only the eyes and ears, but also from every area of the body. The brain organizes and integrates all of these sensations to help the person function normally.
The National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) was created in October of 1995 to help communities across the nation examine the critical issues surrounding playground safety. S.A.F.E. is an acronym created by NPPS and used in its National Action Plan to help the public create safe play environments for children.
Rock climbing is a fun and challenging activity for children that can be enjoyed on natural rock features and on artificial climbing walls. Today's playgrounds offer many types of climbing structures including artificially built rock walls with polyurethane climbing holds for children to grab and realistic-looking boulders with natural crevices to scale.
Onlooker play, also known as spectator play, is one of the earliest stages of play when children watch others play, but do not join in. In onlooker play as children sit or stand near other children who are playing, their motivation is to observe their play safely from a distance with no intention to be an active part of the play.