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Self-Actualization and Learning in Holistic Development



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    Holistic development is a process of self-actualization and learning that combines an individual’s mental, physical, social, emotional and spiritual growth. Physical development is very important for children because it provides the children with the abilities which they need to explore the world around them. It provides the strength to the children and then gradually physical development results in the coordination of the body parts. Muscular control is very important in the children to remain active and healthy and this muscular control can be only achieved through physical development.

    Therefore, for making the children active, lately, capable of performing various activities of life physical development is very essential for them. Figure 1: Mason’s hierarchy of needs Abraham Moscow suggested that people are motivated to achieve self- actualization, but only after other needs on the hierarchy are fulfilled first. Physiological Needs include the most basic needs that are vital to survival, such as the need for water, air, food, and sleep.

    Moscow believed that these needs are the most basic and instinctive needs in the hierarchy because all needs become secondary until these physiological needs are met. Security Needs include deeds for safety and security. Security needs are important for survival, but they are not as demanding as the physiological needs. Examples of security needs include a desire for steady employment, health care, safe neighborhoods, and shelter from the environment. Social Needs include needs for belonging, love, and affection.

    Moscow described these needs as less basic than physiological and security needs. Relationships such as friendships, romantic attachments, and families help full-fill this need for companionship and acceptance, as does involvement in social, community, or religious groups. Esteem Needs; once the first three needs have been satisfied, esteem needs becomes increasingly important. These include the need for things that reflect on self-esteem, personal worth, social recognition, and accomplishment. Self-actualization Needs is the highest level of Mascots hierarchy of needs.

    Self-actualization people are self- aware, concerned with personal growth, less concerned with the opinions of others, and interested in fulfilling their potential. A nutritious diet should consist of; protein for growth and repair of cells, carbohydrates which are good for energy, fats good for energy and to absorb mom vitamins and minerals necessary for a range of different functions e. G. Calcium for bone development and vitamins which are necessary for a range of different functions e. G. Vitamin C for healthy skin. The average calorie intake for a child ages 2-3 years is 1 ,OHO to 1,400 calories daily to grow and develop at a normal pace. – to 8-year-old boys and girls need 1 , 200 to 1,400 calories a day if they are sedentary, and 1,400 to 1 ,600 calories daily. Having a nutritious diet is important to children’s health and holistic development as it is part of Mason’s hierarchy of needs. At the bottom of the Mason’s hierarchy of needs, the most important needs that need to be met are the physiological needs. These are key in a child’s life, without the physiological needs, children and babies get poorly and are less likely to want to play with others, interact and explore their environment.

    This lack of stimulation will slowly delay their cognitive and social development as will not be gaining new experiences or interacting with others. With children having weaker immune systems this makes it more likely for a child to get ill more than an adult, if the child is ill and doesn’t have the diet they deed to get well again, they will lack in energy and nutrients, putting them in risk quicker than an adult. If the physiological needs are not met the child will also become more frustrated, cry and throw tantrums. Poor nutrition is reflected in the behavior of children.

    They may suffer from problems of attention deficiency or hyperactivity disorder. Children tend to be become lethargic and very irritable if the diet does not have enough of daily requirements of fat, proteins and carbohydrates. This may have affect on the other children in the setting and possibly distress them too. A nutritious diet is important for holistic development as without having the correct diet for the child this will effect on how the child learns and how they are socially around other children and/or adults.

    Nutritious diets have effects on a child’s physical health. If a child is given too much of the fatty and unhealthy foods, this will take affect and the child is more likely to become obese at an early age and suffer from diabetes in their adulthood. If the child doesn’t get the correct amount of balance in the food’s they are eating, it is proven that this has affect on that child in their later life. Maternal illumination increases the risk of poor pregnancy outcomes including obstructed labor, premature or low-birth-weight babies and post-part hemorrhage.

    Malnutrition during pregnancy increases a child’s risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, breast cancer, chronic kidney failure, infectious diseases, psychiatric disorders and organ dysfunction. In childhood, poor development due to malnutrition will lead to poor performance in school. Poor performance in school and nurseries Children with disabilities may need extra attention to make sure they get the nutrition they need. Children with chronic sissies, such as HIVE, are even more susceptible to malnutrition. Their bodies have a harder time absorbing vitamins, iron and other nutrients.

    Children who have poor eating habits suffer from problems like lack of concentration, problems related to lack of memory, poor cognitive skills and low levels of intelligence. Children will also tend to be become dull and slow in following instructions. Mental development often slows down with poor dietary patterns. This is not noticed early but with symptoms like delayed speech, delayed coordination and slow learning patterns parents start realizing the problem f the child. A child’s bone health will also be affected. Children often suffer from problems related to aches and pains in the bone, brittle bones and lack of energy.

    All this is the result of calcium deficiency in the diet. If there is lack of vitamin B in the diet it can lead to problems like weakness, leg pains and even incidences of frequent fractures. Sleep is also important to a child’s development. Sleep is key to a person’s daily life routine. Lack of sleep can create significant problems in children’s development. It is thought that children under 5 years old should be sleeping between 10 and 12 hours. With babies sleeping considerably more. On going lack of sleep will affect a child’s; immune system, cognitive development, physical growth and development, social and emotional development.

    Lack of sleep affects a child’s immune system as it helps to fight infections. Children who don’t get enough sleep are prone to infections. Lack of sleep affects a child’s cognitive development as young peoples brains grow faster. However, lack of sleep makes it harder for children to concentrate and process information. This will have affect on how a child develops in school, as the child is not concentrating they re lacking important information and lacking in developing in skills. Lack of sleep affects a child’s growth and development as children whom are tired are less likely to engage in vigorous physical activity.

    When combined with a lack of concentration they may also find it hard to take part in activities requiring fine motor skills. A recent link has been made between a lack of sleep and childhood obesity. “For every hour they sleep less than between the ages of three and five, they will be carrying an extra pound and a half (0. Egg) of fat by their seventh birthday, according to their study. ” (Website: Telegraph: 2011) Lack of sleep also affects social and emotional development. Tired children find it hard to control their impulses and emotions, and even to control their behavior.

    They may also find it hard to be cooperative, which may affect their ability to make and keep friends. Tired children may; be forgetful, be tearful, be argumentative, have tantrums e. G. Outbursts of anger, laughter or crying and also the child might be unwilling to share. Sleep is also a physiological need, this means that it is a basic requirement in Mason’s hierarchy of needs. Exercise is key to improve a child’s lifelong health. Exercise to children doesn’t have to be long P. E lessons, but simply just allowing that child to move around or to just kick their legs and move their arms.

    It is said that children should spend an hour doing exercise daily. The exercise could be as simple as just walking/ running or using wheeled toys or just engaging in play. Young children need a stop-start approach. Their lung and heart capacity means that they will find it hard to maintain vigorous activity for long periods of time. This is why we see toddlers in and out of pushchairs. Being healthy helps children to feel better bout themselves, supporting their confidence and sense of competency. Children’s health and well-being are often linked.

    Children who have continued poor health are more prone to depression because of this link and so steps to promote children’s heath will have an affect on their well-being. The benefits of exercise are; provides stimulation, aids sleep, helps with appetite, helps children to practice their physical skills, develops children’s confidence, strengthens bones, develops heart function, develops lung capacity, promotes coordination skills and also develops special awareness. When children are poorly, they are sees likely to want to play with others, interact and explore their environment.

    This lack of stimulation will, in turn delay their cognitive and social development; they will not gain new experiences or interact with others. For children of school age, taking time off school mean that they will fall behind with learning to read as well as other aspects of curriculum. For children with medical conditions, care has to be taken to support them, because their long-term development can be affected. It is key that children with medical conditions are still involved in exercise with other children. If a child with medical needs is excluded from doing exercise then the child will not feel involved.

    Teachers should go by the ‘can do’ approach, that everyone can do it. Inclusive provision is about making sure that children of all ages benefit from physical activities. This includes children whom may have physical needs, mobility needs or learning difficulties. It may also include children who aren’t confident and need reassurance and encouragement from adults. It is important to identify the needs of each child. This can be done by the child’s key person observing the child/Rene and talking to he parents of that child and other professionals who may be involved with that child.

    Once the needs are met, you should consider how to adapt, change or add in new resources. It is also important to ensure that our provision is inclusive for children regardless of their gender or culture. If these children are not involved in the full range of physical activities and play that is available there is a danger that their development will be restricted. The involvement of adults can sometimes influence a child’s preferences- if an adult starts playing with a ball and invites children to join them, wider participation is more likely. Sometimes, changing an activity slightly can help involve a child with additional needs.

    For example, rather than standing and playing with a parachute, sitting on the floor could accommodate children with mobility difficulties. In some cases, special equipment or resources will be needed. It is essential for people in a setting to work with other professionals and parents to identify what those resources may be. Children with sight problems, when playing football, it helps involvement and participation if the ball has a bell inside it so that the child can hear where the ball is. All adults in that setting should know how to help a child with additional needs.

    From birth to 12 months a baby can; turn their head, begin to control their movements, rolls over, lift head, watch and explore their hands, reaches out, explores objects with their mouth, sit unsupported and can lean forward to pick up toys. A suitable activity for a child aged 0-months to help support a child’s physical development would be things that help develop a babies muscles. A baby gym can vary dependent on the baby’s age. For a young baby, a gym which will be a mat on the floor, where as for baby’s of older age, the gym will e something that baby will sit in and be able to bounce and turn around in.

    For young babies a gym will be a soft mat with two arches that support toys which dangle overhead. Some have lights, music, baby-safe mirrors, kick-activated pianos, tummy time pillows, and/or a variety of textured materials, while others provide a simple, safe space for baby to lay, look, and play. Baby gyms help develop a baby’s cognitive development. Baby gyms allow a baby to learn the basics of cause and effect. Between about 6 weeks and 4 months, babies engage in something Pigged called “primary circular reactions”. This means they learn to repeat an action that they initially did by chance (such as “accidentally’ batting at a toy).

    Then between about 4-8 months babies begin to intentionally initiate these actions and repeat them because they find them fun. These actions are called “secondary circular reactions”. Some examples include grabbing, pulling on, or kicking a toy in order to make it light up or make sounds. This skill is important because it is the beginning of logic and the understanding of cause and effect. Baby gyms facilitate this development of the understanding of cause and effect by providing dangling toys and even kick- r pull-activated toys that respond to their actions, encouraging them to interact with them again and again.

    Baby gyms also help a baby’s visual development. Babies are born pretty near sighted, which means objects far away are blurry. They can realize objects the most clearly when they are about 8-12 inches from their face. Baby gyms are set up to suit for a newborns developing visual perceptual skills. Newborn babies prefer and are best when able to see faces, followed by objects with highly contrasting colors such as black and white. Many baby gyms take this into account by offering mats and dangling toys that eave brightly contrasting colors.

    Babies begin to develop depth perception around 4 months of age, allowing them to enjoy their baby gym more as they can see what they are grabbing for when reaching for toys. Baby gyms are great to help develop a baby’s gross motor skills. Baby play gyms encourage babies to use and develop the muscles in their arms, legs, tummy, back, and neck. They allow babies space to play on their back, left side, right side, and their tummy. “The experience of being on their tummy helps babies learn to push up, roll over, sit up, crawl, and pull to a stand,” (Website: Baby Center: Dinette Glassy: 2014)

    Tummy time is time a baby spends on their tummy while awake. Tummy time not only strengthens your baby’s neck, back, and arms, but it also supports the development of their higher level gross motor skills (like rolling, crawling, walking), hand skills (developing the muscles in the arches of the hands as baby bears weight on them), visual skills (teaching the eyes to work together), and even speech and feeding skills (strengthening the neck which supports the jaw for talking and eating). Additionally, when babies spend time on their tummies it takes weight off the back of their heads and is important for prevention of lat spots.

    Many baby play gyms are now equipped with a small, non-breakable mirror so that babies can spend time looking at themselves in the mirror. Babies tend to notice themselves in the mirror around 3-5 months of age (staring at it, reaching at it). They may first smile at themselves in the mirror between about 5-8 months and then they may playfully respond to their mirror image by laughing, patting, or making faces in the mirror around 6-9 months. All of these skills are important for the development of self-awareness, and baby gyms provide babies the opportunity to practice these skills.

    Sensory stimulation is robbery one of the most well-known means of interacting and playing with babies during their first year. Baby gyms often feature a variety of textures, sounds, and colors in order to stimulate babies’ senses while engaging with the gym. Once your baby begins mouthing objects, you can hang teething toys from the arches so they can reach for them (on back or tummy) and bring them to the mouth for oral stimulation and exploration. In addition to sensory stimulation, baby gyms can also facilitate your baby’s awareness of sensory stimulations such as visual and auditory.

    Visually, babies begin to look from one object to another hen they are about 6-8 inches apart and 1 foot away from their chest, at about 2. 5-3. 5 months of age. The dangling toys in a play gym can help develop this visual awareness skill. And the music or rattles hanging in a baby gym can help babies develop the ability to search for sounds with their eyes between about 2-3. 5 months, and to look directly toward where the sound is coming from at around 3. 5-5 months. Though baby play gyms are great for providing a baby with some fun sensory stimulation, remember that the very best stimulation is the parent.

    The parents face, touch, voice, the smell of their skin are natural, expensive stimulation for a baby. Children between 1-3 years can; pull to standing, crawl/ bottom shuffle, cruise around the room, walk, pass toys from one hand to other, hold an object in each hand, pick up small objects with pincer grasp, enjoys sensory experience, hold pens/ pencils, walk up stairs with adult, crawls downstairs, balance blocks in tower and make connections between movement and marks they make. For children aged between 1-3 years, children develop and learn through movement.

    Dance is a great way to encourage gross motor skill development and emotional expression. Toddlers have a natural sense of rhythm and love to dance – usually a child will automatically bop along to a catchy tune. Often the only encouragement a child needs to dance is a little music. Children love watching parents or people dance so if the parent starts moving and grooving, the toddler will babble and giggle as they find it funny. They may even try and copy what the adult is doing by bobbing along. Dancing is a great way for your child to exercise and burn off some of that abundant toddler energy.

    At the same time, she will also be developing large muscle skills, improving coordination, improving gross trot skills, developing eye-hand coordination. You can further encourage this development by teaching your toddler specific dance moves. Skipping, hopping, jumping, balancing on one leg or simply bouncing to the music, all help develop important movement skills and major muscle groups. Dance is a creative art form that allows a child to freely express thoughts and emotions that they may not be able to communicate verbally.

    A child may not be able to say why they feel sad, angry or happy, but through dance, they may find a release of negative-or expression of positive- emotions in a healthy way. While it may appear a toddler s simply having fun, they are actually exploring their imagination, fantasies and thoughts while dancing. Dance also helps a toddler with special awareness. When dancing in a group of people, the child, when dancing, will discover that they are too close to another child when they get hit or bump into one another. Dance promotes psychological health and maturity through a physical release of emotion and the development of self-awareness” (Website: NEED: 2014) Dancing also promotes cognitive development through movement. When presented with an abstract movement idea, a toddler must think through the action in order to create a movement response. This type of tactile learning – or learning through physical activity-enhances cognitive learning skills and may enhance their ability to solve abstract problems in the classroom some day.

    When presenting a movement idea for the child to mimic, it must be kept simple and age-appropriate to avoid frustrating them. Making up simple dance movements to a child’s favorite nursery rhymes like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” is a good place to start and then gradually build the complexity from there. Dance promotes social interaction and cooperation with others. Young toddlers ay simply be interacting with their parents at home, but older toddlers who are enrolled in dance classes must learn to interact with classmates and their teachers.

    Young dancers learn to exchange ideas through movement, and how to participate in a group dynamic where they must interact respectfully with others. Children aged between 3-5 years can; move freely, mount stairs, walk downstairs, run skillfully, momentarily stand on one leg, catch a large ball, use one-handed tools, uses tripod grasp, copy some letters, jump, understands special awareness, travels with confidence, shows control, increases control, wows preference to dominant hand and recognize letters.

    For children aged 3-5 years, cooking is a great way to teach science in action; helping to lay down basic mathematical skills, reading and time-telling skills; encouraging healthy food choices; building confidence and creativity; enhancing communication and deepening connections with the child. Cooking provides opportunities to help a child learn mathematical vocabulary. Learn phrases like ‘more than’ or ‘less than’ by weighing out ingredients. Let a child feel a 1 keg bag of sugar to feel how heavy it is. They could also feel other packages to help to develop estimation skills.

    A child will gain experience in counting and recognizing numbers. If decorations are to be added to cakes, let the child add a specific number and counting opportunities can arise while setting the table. Through the use of different cutters, children can learn the names of various AD shapes. You can discuss how many corners or sides these shapes have so that children will learn the properties of many shapes. The child can learn about timing too. Ask the child questions along the way such as “who’s cake is bigger? Mine or yours? “. You can help a child to learn lots of new words and concepts through discussion while cooking.

    Show the child what a recipe is and tell them that you need to follow instructions in order to achieve the result. Children can learn the names of ingredients and words like sieve, whisk, stir, mix, roll and melt. They can look for words on packets like eggs and sugar and try to find these words in the recipe. Science plays a big part in cooking. It involves the concept of changing materials: liquid cake mix becomes a solid through baking, juice can become ice leslies when frozen and chocolate melts when heated. Cooking provides an opportunity to discuss where foods come from such as eggs or milk and how and where arioso foods grow.

    Children can learn many things through questions raised in the kitchen including what they need to eat to keep healthy. When cooking it is good to talk to them about which foods give them the energy to run and jump and which ones help them to grow strong. It is important to let the child to carry out as many of the cooking tasks as possible (excluding dangerous ones where sharp knives are involved, this must be explained why they can’t do these tasks). If there is a lot of mixing they COUld begin and you could finish it off as they may lack the physical ability. Or if cooking in a group, you can allow the child to share turns in mixing.

    One can hold the bowl while the other stirs. Tasks such as holding a spoon, mixing, beating, shaking, pouring, rolling or cutting will help to develop a child’s fine motor skills whilst encouraging a child to smell and feel the ingredients will help to improve their use of senses. Food is a really good for communication. Children can learn to share and how to take turns, particularly if they make something with a friend or sibling. Then when the cooking is over, you can sit down and enjoy eating together. After cooking it is also good to see how he children’s memory is by asking them what ingredient they added and when.

    A child aged 5-8 years can; walk backward, walk heel-to-toe without losing balance, run on toes, hop proficiently, get up without using hands, balance on alternate feet (eyes open or closed), catch a ball using hands more than arms, jump rope, jump down several steps, throw and catch a small ball well, move in time to the beat or rhythm of music, skip, gallop, dance, begin to ride a two- wheel bicycle and learn sports involving good physical control. An activity to help promote physical development in a 5-8 year old is parachute play.

    Parachute lay is a great way for children to have fun and learn at the same time. It can be played indoors or outdoors. Parachute play has aspects such as teamwork, cooperation and inclusiveness which are all shared benefits with music. The parachute creates an instant circle, allowing everyone to feel a part of the group and encouraging eye contact and interaction between all participants. Parachute play can be used to add an exciting element to singing games or music and movement activities. Games can be played for fun, or to highlight and reinforce musical concepts.

    Parachute play is also energize, helping children switch on heir brains for more focused learning. The Parachute improves co-ordination and physical fitness in a fun way. The parachute is particularly beneficial for developing arm and shoulder muscle development as well as strengthening wrist and finger muscles. It makes movement activities fun and exciting. It encourages teamwork and co-operation. As all games are fun and non-competitive all children are keen to participate. It creates a positive attitude and eagerness toward participating in physical activities as there is no risk of failure.

    It improves a child’s sense of rhythm, basic gross motor skills, co-ordination and self inference which has a positive effect on their academic performance. Playing with the parachute is a lot of fun and is emotionally and physically satisfying. Different challenges are offered by changing body positions, hand grasps and parachute positions. Activities include number concept, color concept, ball activities, stretching and bending activities, and various other locomotors skills such as running, hopping, jumping, skipping, galloping and marching/ Learning themes can also be built into parachute activities.

    Parachute play also enhances socializing skills and is excellent for developing overall physical fitness. Parachute play is also good for inclusively. It allows all children to be involved no matter their age, gender, culture or additional needs. For a child with additional needs, the play can be played on the floor. The parachute play helps with a child’s language and social skills as they play games in a group, allowing their teamwork skills to improve. It also gets people to talk about what’s happening and about the different colors and things that are on the parachute e. . A ball. Parachute play can also be used in storytelling and literacy activities; engaging children’s imagination and listening skills, not to mention creativity in creating and adapting made- up stories within the group. Children gain enormous benefits from learning outdoors. Ideally they should have access to outdoor space on a daily basis – regardless of all except the worst weather. Being outdoors allows them to move around without many of the restrictions of being inside.

    They can fill their lungs with clean air and use all of their senses to appreciate the colors, different noises, the sense of space and of scale. Being outdoors supports confidence and allows opportunities for big scale lay, problem-solving and creativity in the company of other children. Physical activity is enhanced. So is calculated risk taking. In the outdoors, children’s use of language is five times greater than indoors. Resources don’t need to be expensive. Old tires, some logs and crates will stimulate imagination and can be used in a number of ways. A sheet can become a den.

    Flower pots and hanging baskets and a ‘wild area’ give contact with the natural world. The outdoors supports active learning and when balanced with quiet areas for reflection can really enhance children’s learning. A child aged between 0-12 months would enjoy outdoor finger painting. Finger painting stimulates babies senses and gives a baby the opportunity to experience a variety of textures. During the experience babies and toddlers are developing eye hand coordination and fine motor skills. What looks like a mess on the surface is truly a learning experience for your child.

    As children learn through using their senses, this is why babies put things in their mouths. They learn about an object by the way it feels, tastes, sounds, looks and smells. Because babies can’t see very well they can learn more through placing an item n their mouth. Finger painting helps children to refine their fine motor skills (finger and hand movements) learn about the feel of different textures (especially if paint has sand or anything in it to give extra texture) also allows them to experiment with hand/finger movements (cause and effect) – if i use one finger get a thin line etc.

    Also it helps with language development learning words to describe things, socialist with peers and adults. By learning to paint, children gain a skill which they can be proud of. It gives them a foundation to look at the world with the confidence they can accomplish a goal. The response they get from others in regard to their work can boost their self-confidence. Because there is no right way in the arts, children who paint can be proud to be unique and to express their artistic style.

    Children need to work with other children and adults while they’re learning to paint. This interaction will boost their confidence, and also give them social skills to help them in other aspects of life. Children can learn informally about mixing and exploring colors. All the senses are involved: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and (if you use edible paint) tasting. Finger minting strengthens the finger and hand muscles, thereby improving fine motor development. The development of hand-eye coordination is supported.

    If you place the paper on the floor, large muscle control and balance could be improved. A baby is beginning to develop more precise and controlled hand and finger movements. Although they can now do things like zip her jacket or feed herself with a spoon, a baby still needs an array of activities that boost fine motor development. One way that preschools often help children build up finger and hand skills is through art activities. Finger painting allows your child to literally est. these growing finger skills by using their hands as painting tools instead of a brush.

    Finger painting may seem easy, but it can involve complex movements of the hand that can build hand-eye coordination, muscle control and dexterity. This is a non-prescriptive way of promoting children’s self-expression. There is a focus on the process, not on the end result or the finished product. Finger painting is therapeutic – children can express their feelings visually without using words, this is good for babies as they cannot speak, they can babble. Finger painting stimulates creativity and imagination. Finger painting is an excellent ay of creating shared art work with a group of kids working together.

    The finished art work and the process are stimulation points for discussion on the creative process, the colors, the themes, the design etc, therefore language development is promoted. While a baby isn’t ready to read the literary study yet, it is good for parents and careers to help build the basics of literacy. The interactive process of finger painting is an important way that preschoolers can learn new words such as color vocabulary or sensory words like slimy, squishy or sticky.

    Self-Actualization and Learning in Holistic Development. (2018, May 16). Retrieved from

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