Have you ever wondered how your child’s muscles and brain develop from the day he or she is born? Even before the toddler can speak, the muscles in their body are expanding and strengthening. This process continues rapidly until the age of 5 or 6.
How can you ensure the support and access to the right tools he or she needs to improve these skills?
Here, we take a look at what exactly gross motor skills are and how play can help develop them, along with a few simple toys your child is sure to enjoy.
How Is Gross Motor Skill Defined?
Gross motor skills refer to the abilities to move the large muscle groups in our body. Whether it is walking, running, sitting upright, or moving objects from one hand to the next, gross motor skills are necessary for all aspects of our functioning and enjoyment of life. In gross motor skills and activities, there are three main types:
- Locomotor skills: These abilities enable children to perform activities which require the child to quickly move from one place to another, such as running, jumping, skipping, and so on. It keeps children healthy and active.
- Skill sets that are not locomotor: These can be learned while the child is stationary in one place. This includes activities like bending, stretching, turning, pushing, pulling, and so on. Their purpose is to teach children to move purposefully and gracefully with purpose.
- Object manipulation skills: These skills are all about moving objects in different ways. They can include items such as catching, kicking, and throwing. Kids use them to interact physically with the world around them, they are essential in most games and have an important role in outdoor activities.
How important is physical development?
At every stage children learn and master new motor skills. Gross motor skills include planning and coordination of large muscle groups like walking, running, and skipping. The skills have been used since birth in living, learning and playing and they provide children the ability to explore and interact with the world around them.
Is Playing A Good Way To Develop Gross Motor Skill?
In order to develop gross motor skills, children must follow one simple rule: practice until perfect. And we know that the best way to get kids to practice anything is to make it fun.
Practice gross motor skills doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, we do this all the time. For example, we hold a rattle in front of an infant and move it from side to side. A baby who plays this simple game gradually develops the ability to move his head, allowing him to focus and improve attention span.
The Gross Motor Skills Of Children At Different Ages
Based on CDC data, here are toddler milestones in gross motor skill:
In 12 months:
- Then he pulls himself to stand and holds on to furniture as he walks (also called cruising)
- Starts taking steps
- Possibly stand alone
In 18 months:
- May walk up steps alone and run
- Pulls toys while walking
- Self-dressing is possible.
Around 2 years:
- Standing on tiptoe
- Taking a kick at a ball
- Stairs and furniture can be reached by climbing onto and from them.
- Throws the ball overhand
Around 3 years:
- The climber climbs well.
- Runs smoothly
- Peddles a three-wheeler
- Stairs are walked up and down, one foot on each step
Remember, these milestones are merely general guidelines. For any questions about your toddler’s physical development, please reach out to your pediatrician.
The best toys for children are open-ended toys that allow for unstructured play because they give your child a chance to consciously move their body, manipulate objects, and remain engaged with the world around them.
Therefore, the best way to help your child hone their gross motor skills is by giving them enough opportunities to practice and inspiration to play! Choose toys that meet your child where they are at in their development and push them to the next stage. It is ideal for your child to be able to consciously move their bodies, manipulate objects, and stay engaged with the world around them as open-ended toys allow for unstructured play.
It is possible to teach gross motor skills with toys ranging from simple ones like rattles and soft balls to more challenging ones like activity walkers and bowling pins for children. Here are a few safe and eco-friendly toys that your kids will love!
Developing Fine Gross Motor Skills While Maintaining Eye-hand Coordination
Vatenic toys are great for focusing on small children’s gripping reflexes with vibrant colours and practical shapes. The shape of the blocks is designed to accommodate small children’s hand, so that grabbing and holding them is an easy process. The Vatenic building blocks stimulate your child’s gripping reflex through their attention-drawing ability. These blocks are irresistible to your child!
With the help of Vatenic Toys, your child progresses to developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills after learning the gripping reflexes. Moreover, your child will also discover that he or she can also click another set of building blocks together. And other features are available to you. Because your child can also make its creations move. It is with these educational toys that these hands work together in an increasingly sophisticated and expanding way.