When we look at developing gross motor skills of infants and children, we are talking about the coordination and movement of different body parts of the body This enables your baby or child to be able to move and play and later to join in playground games and sports.
Gross motor skill development begins at birth and continues throughout our lives. Motor skill development follows a natural sequence beginning with the large muscles such as the head, legs, arms, and trunk.
Gross motor skills for infants usually include:
- Holding their head up
- Sitting up
- Rolling over
- Pulling themselves up to stand
- And eventually walking, running, jumping and kicking a ball.
How to further develop motor skills:
You can help develop your child’s motor skills at all ages. Encourage your child to engage in activities that further develop these skills. Activities include:
- Placing your baby on their tummy and helping them reach for a toy.
- Putting a toy on the couch for your child to stretch toward when they begin to stand.
- Visiting playgrounds and playing outside, where your child can climb, swing, slide, and interact with other children.
Why is this so important?
Motor skill development is important for the overall development and well-being of your infant/child. It allows children to develop the skills and knowledge needed to have a happy and healthy life.
It develops the child’s physical growth by allowing them to build strong muscles, increase overall fitness and mobility and develop their hand-eye coordination and balance. Improved physical development leads to improved cognitive states. This includes improved memory, better problem-solving abilities, emotional regulation, and attention. This prepares children for social settings and allows them to grow into happy, healthy, and capable individuals.
Just like any skill, motor skills take time to develop, and children need lots of practice to achieve them. Parents play an important role in providing opportunities for their children to practice their motor skills through play.
For game recommendations and tips to encourage gross motor skill development visit:
The My Baby Now App where you will find tips and game ideas.