Are you a parent of a young child? Wondering what developmental milestones your child should be hitting? Check out this post for information on gross motor skills and examples of how children display them. Knowing what to look for can reassure you about your child’s progress and help you report these skills to your pediatrician.
Importance of gross motor skills
Gross motor skills are a vital stage of development. They involve the large muscles in the body and are essential for movement and coordination. They help children move and coordinate their bodies. Gross motor skills develop as children learn to control their movements and explore their surroundings. You can help your child improve their gross motor skills by providing opportunities for them to move and explore.
Some examples of gross motor skills include:
- Sitting up
Each of these milestones involves the use of different muscles. For example, sitting up requires the abdominal and back muscles, while crawling uses the arm and leg muscles. There are many ways to encourage gross motor skills development in youngsters. Some simple tips include:
- Providing opportunities for tummy time
- Encouraging crawling by placing toys just out of reach
- Helping them to stand up by holding their hands
- Encouraging walking by pushing them in a stroller or wagon
- Playing catch, hopscotch, and other games that require movement.
Gross motor skills are an essential part of child development. Knowing what to look for and providing opportunities for gross motor skill development can help your child reach their developmental milestones.
Gross motor skills and activities examples
As your child grows, their gross motor skills will develop and expand. Here are some gross motor skills examples that your child may learn:
- Bending over to pick up a toy
- Climbing steps
- Kicking or throwing a ball
Check out an example of our physical education program for preschoolers in the video below.
These are just a few examples of the many gross motor skills that your child will learn as they grow. As their gross motor skills develop, they will be able to do more and more physical activities. You can help your child practice and improve their gross motor skills by encouraging them to be active daily. Try to create opportunities for them to run, jump, and play. You can also help them practice specific skills by playing games or doing activities focusing on those skills. For example, you can play catch with a ball to help your child practice their throwing and catching skills.
Encouraging your child to be active and providing opportunities to practice their gross motor skills will help them develop and grow.
As your child nears 3 or 4, you’ll see significant improvements in their gross motor skills. For example, climbing stairs and throwing balls will become more manageable, and they’ll be able to balance on one foot more easily. This is all thanks to the complex gross motor skills they’re beginning to master. So encourage your little one to keep active, and they’ll be reaping the benefits in no time!
This is an exciting time for you and your child as they master new skills and explore the world around them.
You may help your youngster’s growth in this area by giving them plenty of chances to practice. Here are 5 easy gross motor skills activities tips to get started!
- Plan outdoor physical activities like sandbox play, scavenger hunts, and yard work.
- Encourage indoor activities like yoga, hide-and-seek, and obstacle courses.
- Purchase a set of small balls or a basketball hoop and show your child how to use them.
- Allow your child to play with the balls or hoop freely.
- Try to do these activities with your child to set a good example!
Minimize the time it takes for your child to master gross motor skills.
As a parent, you must be mindful of your actions that might hinder your child’s gross motor skill development. For example, one common mistake parents make is carrying their children or placing them in strollers too often.
To help your child develop their gross motor skills, try working on letting them practice walking skills instead. You can take them out of the stroller for short periods, holding onto the side for balance. Then, when it’s time to cross the street or your child gets tired, you can place them back inside the stroller.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your child’s gross motor skills have the chance to develop properly.
Not All Children Develop at the Same Pace
Not all children develop at the same pace. This is perfectly normal, and as a parent, it’s crucial to observe your child’s gross motor skills to gauge their developmental progress. If you have any concerns that your child may lag behind in some areas, don’t hesitate to consult your pediatrician. Early intervention is critical in addressing any potential delays. By working together, you and your child’s doctor can ensure they are developmentally on track.