I grow, move and develop

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Last but not least! After this, fifth learning area, we have gone through all five learning areas that Finnish early childhood education follows in their curriculum. Yay!

The learning area of I grow, move, and develop includes learning goals that include physical activity, food education, health, and safety. The purpose is to create a stable foundation for children so that they learn to value health and overall well-being. Another aim of this learning area connects to children's physical activity. Improving children’s physical activity, body awareness as well as control over their bodies. Also, the development of gross and fine motor skills is important.

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Children are naturally curious to move in different ways and try different things. The level of courage, self-confidence, and speed varies according to the child's temperament and character. Some children are fearless; they ride a bicycle at 100km/h even though they fall every other minute! Other children take it easy; they observe, test a little, practice carefully, refuse to go on the bike, observe a bit more, try once or twice, and take a break...they learn little by little once they have the courage and confidence to do it!

Whatever the style, character, temperament, speed, or level of confidence is - the goal is that every child gets to experience the joy of moving! Moving can happen inside or outside, in winter or summer, with adult guidance or freely without it.

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Three subareas: physical activity, food education & safety

Moving and being physically active gives a boost to a child's self-confidence and self-knowledge. Group activities like football, dancing in a group, or playing tag gives children a feeling of belonging and improves also skills of interaction.

Food education gives children knowledge about healthy and nutritious foods. Eating should always be a nice and easygoing event, without rushing or pressuring. Children learn about the daily mealtimes, eating together, discussing over the lunch table, and good table manners.

The area of safety is also important. It means, for example, explaining to children the dangers of traffic, teaching some traffic rules, and showing them how to move safely in traffic. Also encouraging children to ask for help in case of danger or getting lost is a good one.

Lesson plans by Kindiedays


Learning subareas one by one

Each area has its own objectives that work as a tool for educators' planning and assessment process. Below, you can find all the learning objectives for I grow, move, and develop.


Physical activity

  • I participate in a supervised exercise
  • I get independent physical activity during free play
  • I participate in physical activity with a pair
  • I participate in physical activity with a group
  • I can balance, roll and stretch (body management)
  • I can skip, hop and run (locomotor skills)
  • I can throw, kick and build (manipulative motor skills)
  • I move both indoors and outdoors


Food education

  • I eat independently
  • I have vocabulary related to food
  • I have good table manners
  • I obtain versatile and sufficient nutrition
  • I get to eat in an unhurried atmosphere without disturbances
  • I familiarise myself with foods, their origins, and visual appearance
  • I familiarise myself with the textures and tastes of different foods
  • I have a positive attitude toward food and eating


Health and safety

  • I play with friends - good relationships are important for my wellbeing
  • I exercise - it is important for my health
  • I rest - it is important for my health
  • I understand safety in everyday situations
  • I learn about safety in traffic in my local area
  • I am able to take care of my health and hygiene
  • I am capable of asking for help when needed


How to plan lessons according to all this?

To help you out, take a look at a ready-made lesson plan from here. The lesson plan includes one activity based on this learning area. The lesson plan explains what are children's developmental learning objectives and guides you through the activity step-by-step. The activity is planned by Kindiedays lesson plan expert Stella Giota.

Once you understand the idea of it, it makes planning much more fruitful and easier for you too! But in case you are not a "planner type" - do not worry. You can purchase fun and pedagogical ready-made lesson plans from here.

Happy learning!


Helsinki's curriculum for early childhood education and care. 2019.