Education.com
Try
Brainzy
Try
Plus

Large Muscle Development Assessment and Analysis Guide

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

Development is a complex process that involves multiple interactions between many different areas of development. The table below describes what to look for in large muscle development and the developmental continuum, which is a predictable, but not rigid, sequence of developmental accomplishments. Typical ages are given for the first and last accomplishments as a general guide for assessment.

Examples of Things to Look For Development Curriculum

Walking: Placing one foot in front of the other while maintaining contact with floor.

Watch for: heel–toe progression; placement of arms as child walks (smoothly in opposition to feet); length of stride; balance.

Walking on a straight line is easier than on a curved line; forward is easier than walking backwards; spontaneous is easier than in rhythm to music or a drum beat.

Most Children:

  • Can walk in a heel–toe progression with arms in opposition; up and down steps with one foot leading, then with alternating feet. (3 yrs.)
  • Can walk backwards; a straight path (1" wide); up and down short stairs with alternating feet; a balance beam (2–3" high) with help.
  • Can walk on balance beam (2–3" high); up and down ten or more stairs alternating feet with hand rail; on a circle.
  • Can walk in time to music; across balance beam (2–3" high); up and down ten stairs alternating feet; use roller skates. (5–6 yrs.)

Running: Placing one foot in front of the other with a brief period of no contact with floor.

Watch for: placement of arms (should move smoothly in opposition to the feet, should not flail around, should not be stiff); balance; fluidity; speed; ability to start and stop with balance; ability to run and turn with balance.

Most Children

  • Can run (length of stride, balance, and smoothness begin to improve). (2–3 yrs.)
  • Can run more smoothly (even stride but may lack mature arm movements and form). A few children can turn, stop suddenly, or run around objects easily.
  • Can run with improved form, speed, and control (stopping, starting, and turning without falling).
  • Can run in an effective adult manner (arms across midline in rhythmic pattern, elbow bent at a right angle); combine run and jump.
  • Can run with longer stride; coordinate run with other motor skills (e.g., kicking); increased speed and agility. (6–8 yrs.)

Jumping: One or two foot takeoff, landing on both feet.

Watch for: takeoff and landing, including placement of the arms on takeoff, landing, and as the jump is being made (arms aid in jump and don’t flail around); bending of knees (should not be stiff); balance and fluidity. Jumps increase in distance and height. Jumping down is easier than jumping up onto something.

Most Children

  • Can jump off a step with both feet; jump in place with minimal crouch, may land on one or both feet (one foot ahead). (2–3 yrs.)
  • Can jump well in place; jump over a small object leading with one foot.
  • Can jump well in place; crouch for a high jump of 2"; do standing broad jump of 8–10". A few children can jump over a barrier.
  • Can jump over barriers; make a vertical jump; do a running broad jump.
  • Can jump rope in a simple pattern; jump onto a target.
  • Can do jumping jacks; jump rope in complex patterns; a standing broad jump with deep crouch (arms swing further back behind body and continue until body is fully extended, and synchronized); jump and catch ball. (7–8 yrs.)

Hopping: One foot takeoff and landing on the same foot.

Watch for: takeoff and landing; placement of arms (arms swing and aid in takeoff and landing, no flailing); isolation of the hopping side; balance; fluidity (should not be stiff); preference for one foot.

Most Children

  • Cannot hop; make irregular steps instead of a hop. Some children attempt a hop. (2–3 yrs.)
  • Can hop once or twice on preferred leg; execute ten hops in a row on preferred leg. (3–4 yrs.)
  • Can hop a distance of 5'.
  • Can hop distance of 16'; use arms in opposition to feet; use either foot.
  • Can hop onto small squares.
  • Can hop in an alternate rhythmic pattern (2–2, 2–3, or 3–3 pattern). (7–8 yrs.)

Galloping: Step (walk) leap with same foot leading.

Skipping: Step (walk) hop in rhythmic alternation

Watch for: patterned use of the feet; use of arms (should move smoothly, no flailing); coordination; balance; ability to sustain the pattern.

Most Children

  • Attempt a gallop. (3 yrs.)
  • Perform a shuffle step (side step).
  • Step hop on one foot. Some gallop fairly well with preferred foot.
  • Gallop fairly well (not proficiently). Some children can skip.
  • Can skip with ease. (6-7 yrs).

Kicking: Moving an object by striking it with the foot.

Watch for: stance; standing on two feet, stepping forward with balance (older children may be able to move forward several steps and kick); movement of kicking leg; balance on contact with ball and follow-through; placement of arms (no flailing); fluidity; coordination of nonkicking side (no extraneous movements). Early kicking with stationary ball, then ball rolling directly to child (can’t shift position), then ball rolling and child meets it.

Most Children

  • Kick with leg stiff, straight leg, and little body movement. (2–3 yrs.)
  • Kick with lower leg bent on backward lift and straight on forward swing.
  • Kick with greater backward and forward swing; use arms in opposition to legs; step into ball.
  • Kick using mature pattern; kick through ball with arms synchronized; kick ball tossed into air with straight leg.
  • Run and kick in stride.
  • Kick proficiently and accurately; intercept a ball; adjust kicking to height of ball; can aim ball. (7–8 yrs.)

Throwing: Using hands and arm to propel an object through the air—overhand or underhand.

Watch for: smooth fluid motion of throwing arm; coordination of nonthrowing arm (no extraneous movements); balance; stance; rotation of body (older children also lean slightly backwards); step forward as object is released; follow-through of throwing arm; whipping motion of the arm on release; arc of throw. Early throwing, no weight transfer. Smaller balls are easier to throw.

Most Children

  • Face target and use both forearms to push; throw with little or no footwork or body rotation; may lose balance while throwing. (2–3 yrs.)
  • Throw overhand or underhand with one arm fairly well; use some body rotation; may release ball too early or late.
  • Throw proficiently for longer distances, with more mature overhand motion (at elbow); may prefer overhand or underhand.
  • Throw in a mature pattern; step forward; improved accuracy; fluid follow-through.
  • Throw overhand with whipping motion (lean body back in preparation); underhand with explosive release. (7–8 yrs.)

Catching: Using hands to grasp or capture an object thrown through air.

Watch for: stance (balanced, can move and catch); placement of the arms (trap against body or grasped with hands); following of object’s path with eyes; positioning self under object; adjusting hand position to size of object. At the beginning, catches involve a ball rolling on ground. Large balls are easier to catch. Child may show more mature catching with large balls.

Most Children

  • Stop rolling object with hands; stand with arms stiff; may close eyes, arch body away; close arms after object hits body. (2–3 yrs.)
  • Hold arms out straight, stiff with hands facing object; trap against body. Catch bounced ball.
  • Hold arms flexed at elbows; trap against body. Some children catch with hands.
  • Try catching with hands; may still trap; follow trajectory of ball better. About half of the children can catch with hands.
  • Are moderately proficient; flex elbows with hands forward; make contact with hands; may juggle object.
  • Can catch with hands, little juggling; judge trajectory fairly well; move into position; adjust hand position to size of object. (7 yrs. and older)

Perceptual Motor Abilities: Body, timing, and directional awareness. Ability to imitate by watching and listening to a model.

Watch for: ability to clap to a steady beat; walk, jump, hop, gallop, or skip to a beat or to music; control of body when moving (no extraneous movements); sense of external space (doesn’t walk into things, bump into people when moving); mimic movements of another person; perform a movement after listening to verbal directions.

Most Children

  • Can identify parts of the body; clap a simple rhythm; still lack spatial and directional awareness. (3–4 yrs.)
  • Can mimic demonstrated movements presented in a sequence (clapping pattern); use verbal directions to execute a simple movement sequence; walk to the beat of a musical selection.
  • Most children have trouble memorizing a sequence of movements. (6–7 yrs.)

Physical Fitness: The child’s physical state after vigorous exercise and the ability to sustain vigorous exercise.

Watch for: sustained enthusiastic performance of the movements; the amount of time a child spends in vigorous exercise; child’s reaction to being tired (shortness of breath, absence of strength).

Most Children

  • Can exercise vigorously for 10–15 minutes without needing to stop. (5 yrs.)
  • Can exercise vigorously for 15–20 minutes. (8 yrs.)

Adapted from: National Association for Sport and Physical Education (2004); Berk, 2006; Corbin, 1980; Council on Physical Education for Children, 2000; Gallahue, 1982; Hastie & Martin, 2006; Hetherington, Parke, Gauvain, & Locke, 2005; Poest, Williams, Witt, & Atwood, 1990; Schirmer, 1974; Sinclair, 1973; Thomas, Lee, & Thomas, 1988; Weeks & Ewer-Jones, 1991, Weikert, 1987; Wickstrom, 1983; Williams, 1991.

Add your own comment
DIY Worksheets
Make puzzles and printables that are educational, personal, and fun!
Matching Lists
Quickly create fun match-up worksheets using your own words.
Word Searches
Use your own word lists to create and print custom word searches.
Crossword Puzzles
Make custom crossword puzzles using your own words and clues.
See all Worksheet Generators