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Developing Gross Motor Skills
Gross Motor Skills are skills that develop through using the large muscles of the body in a
coordinated and controlled way.
Movements of the whole arms, the
legs and the trunk are all gross motor movements.
Just a few examples are:
catching a ball, balancing, climbing, jumping on a trampoline, playing tag and
And those come after the momentous gross motor
development that a baby undergoes in 16 short months of life: rolling over, sitting up, crawling and walking!
These are quick links to the different sections on this page that tell you more:
Gross motor skills develop through practice and repetition,
which is why a baby takes weeks to perfect the art of rolling, sitting
or crawling, and a child can take a whole season to learn how to catch a
ball while running.
Children need to be exposed to diverse opportunities to move freely and experiment with different resources to help their skills develop.
However, for normal gross motor development to take place, the brain, spine, nerves and muscles need to be intact and undamaged.
If damage has occurred through birth trauma, accident or illness, then
progress of motor skills, as that of other skills, may be affected.
you suspect that your child has sustained some damage to the brain or the body,
please consult your doctor right away.
There are many factors that can affect the development of gross motor skills:
Playing computer games and watching tv has
given our kids great exposure to all kinds of information that the
previous generation did not have, but the cost is that kids may miss out on opportunities to develop their physical motor
skills in outdoor and indoor play.
Make frequent park dates and encourage your child to climb, swing and run.
When your child's friends come to play, spend a few minutes in an organized gross motor activity with them. Show them how to jump rope, build an obstacle course, or play some relay races. They will love having you involved for a few minutes, and they may be inspired to continue with the activity once you're done!
To help you, I have linked to a few useful products from various suppliers that reflect the activities suggested on this page. I occasionally receive samples in exchange for an honest review, but the opinions expressed are entirely my own. You are under no obligation to purchase anything, but if you do purchase something through my links, I will receive a small commission that will help support this website, at no additional cost to you. Thank you!
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All activities should take place under close adult supervision. Some activities use small items which may cause choking. The activities suggested on this website are NOT a substitute for Occupational Therapy intervention. Please read my disclaimer before you use any of the activities.
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