Singapore University of Social Sciences

Supporting Sensory and Motor Development

Supporting Sensory and Motor Development (ECE200)


Young children grow to be acquainted to the world through sensory exploration and experiences; as well as through physical exploration with their bodies. Building on earlier child development courses such as ECE102 and ECE106, this compulsory course aims to help students understand key milestones in infants’, toddlers’ and pre-schoolers’ motor development, as well as understand the importance of adults’ influence over young children’s propensity to attend, focus and investigate with all their senses. Strategies for engaging children of diverse abilities are introduced, along with discussions of intended outcomes and ways to integrate sensory and motor learning in a typical Singaporean infant/toddler and preschool programme.

Level: 2
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JAN


  • The sensory system and its relation to other developmental domains
  • How children learn through their senses
  • Children’s fine motor and gross motor development and their connection to children’s well-being
  • Reflexive development and gross motor development
  • Maria Montessori’s approach to developing the senses and practical life skills
  • Physical and sensorial play for infants and toddlers
  • Physical and sensorial play for pre-schoolers
  • Creating a conducive indoor and outdoor environment
  • Facilitating pre-schoolers’ gross motor activities (indoors and outdoors)
  • Balancing child-initiated and adult-initiated play
  • Supporting developmental variations and individual needs
  • Supporting children with special needs

Learning Outcome

  • Explain how the sensory system functions and how young children learn through sensorial experiences.
  • Relate major motor developmental milestones and relate theory to child observations.
  • Illustrate ways in which child-initiated and adult-initiated play activities can support sensory and motor development.
  • Examine ways to provide a conducive indoor and outdoor learning environment.
  • Develop physical and sensorial play activities that are beneficial for children of different ages.
  • Implement sensorial play activities for children with diverse learning needs.
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