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Thursday, June 10, 2010


Develop Your Preschoolers Gross Motor Skills at Home

In order to learn specific activities to develop your child's motor skills, we must first look at what are gross motor skills and the importance of these skills.

Gross motor skills refer to movements governed by the large muscles in the body. These large muscles are in the legs, arms, and trunk. They allow people to run, jump, kick, catch, and throw. Preschoolers especially need time to develop these skills. Gross motor skills begin developing in infancy.

The importance of gross motor skills can't be overstated. These are the muscle skills that allow standing, walking, jumping, and balancing. While writing is a fine motor skill, sitting erect and standing at the blackboard both require gross motor skills. The developmental milestones for cognitive and motor skills often go hand in hand, so if there is a problem with gross motor skills professionals will be on the lookout for other issues.

Infants learn to hold up their heads, creep, then finally crawl. At 12 to 18 months, many children are taking their first steps. By preschool, children are able to balance, run, hop, jump, and climb stairs with alternating feet.

Activities that develop gross motor skills
Dancing is a wonderful activity for improving gross motor skills. Use music to do freestyle movements or sing along with movements, such as "I'm a little teapot." Add in marching, hopping, skipping, or jogging to get more variety for the little tyke.

Pretend marks a fun game to play. Gross motor skills are used with all movement, so waddling to be a duck or jumping to be a rabbit gets good use of those muscles while feeding their brains.

Painting in the garage or outside on the lawn also works for the gross motor skills. Large sheets of paper or canvas that can be marked on with hands, feet, or flicked from paint jars. This craft can be messy, but having your preschooler help with cleanup is also good for their motor abilities.

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