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21 February 2011

Physical development: two to six

Your child has lost his/her baby fat and becomes a slimmer and less top-heavy. Coordination, motor skills and balance improve a great deal during this stage.

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Changes in body proportions are more evident during this phase because your child will lose her 'baby fat' as her torso lengthens. By six, she has become slimmer with smoother movements, greater coordination and increased strength.

Changes in body proportions affect the body’s centre of gravity. Since preschool children carry a greater portion of weight in their upper bodies, their centre of gravity is higher than in adults. This makes it more difficult for them to control their bodies and they are therefore more prone to falls. The centre of gravity is even higher in boys, which explains why boys appear to be clumsier than girls.

You can expect your child’s height to increase by 7 to 9 cm each year. The average weight increase is between 1.8 and 2.6 kg per year. In developed countries, the average height of a six-year-old is 1.2 m and the average weight, 20.8 kg.

By the age of five, the brain is nearly adult size. Rapid brain development leads to the capacity for more sophisticated and complex learning, problem solving and language, and to a refinement of gross and fine motor skills.

During the preschool years, you will be able to see whether your child will be right- or lefthanded. The majority of three to five-year-olds also show a well-established foot preference.

(Ilse Pauw, Health24)

 
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