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Minnesota Childrens Museum Blog

Minnesota Children's Museum takes pride in embracing and nurturing development of the ‘whole child’ through experiential play!  Developmental pieces of the ‘whole’ child focus on language/literacy, social/emotional, cognitive, and physical growth.

Physical Growth:
Large motor skills begin to develop immediately for children.  Movement adds to a child’s ability to master skills that allow them to maneuver their bodies with intention, fluidly, and accuracy.  Constant opportunities for movement not only develop these skills, but also stimulate the brain for further developmental growth.


  • holding head up
  • rolling over
  • sitting up without tipping
  • crawling
  • walking
  • mastery of walking
  • running
  • marching
  • jumping, hopping
  • climbing
  • skipping
  • hopping
  • catching
  • throwing
  • This is also when other related factors begin to emerge and become new skills for children to master such as:  
    • coordination
    • strength
    • balance
    • endurance
    • flexibility
Fine motor skills are essential for proper pencil grip and control when writing effectively (later in the early childhood years). The muscles in the hands and fingers are small, yet, used in grand proportions. Strengthening these muscles takes concentration and practice. Open-ended activities that allow children to develop these skills with little or no attention to precision will benefit their efforts.

  • batting at a mobile
  • grasping/grabbing for objects
  • holding objects
  • transferring objects from one hand to the other.
  • pincher grips (using the index finger and thumb to grab that Cheerio)
  • pushing buttons
  • working on turning pages of a board book
  • stacking small blocks
  • eating with utensils
  • beginning to hold writing utensils to make marks on paper (which, they also love to tear and rip…another great muscle builder)
  • writing
  • drawing
  • cutting (in any form)
  • playing with Playdoh
  • building with Legos
Don't forget to visit Minnesota Children's Museum's newest exhibit Balancing Act. 
Balancing isn't just an act.  From teetering toddlers to tight-rope walkers, balance is something we all use in our everyday lives.  Our body and brain work together to help us balance.  Expand your understanding of balance as you participate in active learning experiences such as balance beams and boards, and discover what keeps spinning tops spinning, gymnasts on track and ice skaters on edge.  Put your sense of balance to the test in this hands-on children's exhibit and learn how you can practice and improve your own "balancing act"!


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