What is the Significance of Motor Development?

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Physical and motor development broadens the area of activities for the baby. The toddler tries to explore and understand his environ­ment.

Baby learns new skills in order to adjust with the environment. In this process baby attains self-confidence and self-reliance. Early concepts about himself and other’s attitude towards the baby and their behaviors affect the relationship of the baby with them.

Sensory development

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God has given us five sense organs to explore and understand our environment. These are as follows-

(i) Eyes

(ii) Ear

(iii) Skin

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(iv) Tongue

(v) Nose

Newly born baby reacts towards his environment with the help of these sense organs. He receives information through these organs and tries to understand the world around him. He forms simple concepts about self and other people.

With the help of this information and knowledge the baby tries to adjust with the environment around him. The sensory development takes place along with the motor development. Both these developments help the child to explore, and understand his environment. This is called sensory motor development.

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At the time of birth all the sense organs of the baby are not fully developed. Gradually his nervous system develops, his muscles become strong and as a result, his sense organs become strong and their capacity to receive stimulus from the environment increases.

(i) Seeing

At the time of birth the baby has no control over his eye muscles that is why he cannot hold his pupil at one place. ‘Retina’ is also not properly developed. The baby cannot see different colours. Psycho­logists have an opinion that the newly born baby is sensitive about blue colour only. Three months-old baby is able to hold his pupil and becomes sensitive toward various colours especially red because his eye muscles becomes strong and other development also takes place.

(ii) Hearing

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At the time of birth this sense organ is very less developed. Three month- old baby moves his head at the sound of snapping of fingers. He recognises his mother’s voice. He is able to differentiate between various voices in the 9 or 10 months.

(iii) Skin

The most developed sense organ at the time of birth is skin. The baby learns to recognise touch very fast. He is able to recognise familiar and unfamiliar touches. That is why a baby stops crying when his mother picks him up. The baby also recognises hot, cold, pain etc.

(iv) Taste

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At the time of birth the baby recognises only sweet taste. Gradually starts recognising sour and bitter taste also.

(v) Smelling

Smelling power of the baby is slightly better at the time of birth. He is able to recognise his mother’s body odour. Gradually this capability increases even further.

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