Fundamental movement skills are a specific set of skills that involve different body parts such as feet, legs, belly, back, head, arms and hands. Children develop these skills during their early childhood years and then use them throughout the rest of their life. These skills are important because they are the building blocks to more complex skills required to play active games and take part in sports and recreational activities. Particular types of active play can help your child develop these fundamental movement skills.
Some movements that help to develop the whole body, include: dancing, running, climbing, jumping, hopping, side gallop, leaping, dodging and balancing.
- Try games like ‘chasey’ and hop scotch.
Upper body movements
Some movements that develop the upper body include hitting, throwing, digging and building, catching.
- Use objects to hold, wave, throw, catch, carry e.g. large stuffed animals, boxes, streamers, balls, mini bean bags, balloons.
- Use child-sized bats and racquets or a rolled up magazine for your child to practice hitting objects. Balloons are a good object to start with as they move slowly, giving your child a better chance of hitting them.
- A fun game is to try and keep a balloon off the ground for as long as you can.
Lower body movement
Some movements that help to develop the lower body include moving over, through or around objects.
- Use tunnels and boxes. Draw chalk lines on the ground for your child to move along or jump over.
To develop climbing skills, climb up and down safe objects. Always provide supervision.
- Use play grounds, ladders, soft stacking objects, safe trees.
Challenge your child to take part in balancing activities e.g. walking along a chalk line or a crack in the footpath.
A great way to develop creative movement is to encourage your child to move their body freely to music or musical instruments. Give your child a scarf or ribbon to wave in the air and move with.
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