Activities appropriate to specific age groups
We need to develop an awareness in parents and practitioners that chronological age and developmental age are not the same in terms of performance, and that this should be acknowledged when planning and delivering sessions. We have already indicated that children’s physical attributes and skills develop at different rates. Young children’s motor skills are developing daily as they grow, and older children are also more aware of their bodies and those around them and activities should be selected that reflect this.
Below is an example of how activities can be adapted to accommodate all different levels of maturity: the game may have to be modified even within the age ranges according to the group’s abilities:
The leader of the activity session needs to be aware of how to separate individuals into groups. However, the following guidelines also need to be interpreted to take account of individual children’s developmental profiles.
For example, some children aged 3 may be capable of working at a higher or lower level than indicated below and you will need to exercise your professional judgment in terms of managing this in terms of the activity session and managing parental expectations:
- Children aged 3 and under will only work as individuals, or as a whole group.
- Children aged 3 and 4 will need to be put into their groups or pairs.
- Children aged 4 and 5 can be numbered and then put into their group of that number (if they can remember which number they are)