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Activities To Develop Your Child’s Gross Motor Skills

By Apricus Health

1st August 2021

Our body learns about the world and engages in it with the support of our motor and sensory system. Motor Skills are actions or behaviours which are used to physically interact with tasks, contexts, and the environment around us. They can impact how a child plays in the playground, how they can complete self-cares, or how they can do their schoolwork. 

Big movements or gross motor skills are a foundation block for development and are needed to develop more refined skills. Gross motor skills involve skills such as; balance, strength, endurance, coordination and posture. Without gross motor skills children will have difficulties completing all daily activities. An example of this is if a child hasn’t developed appropriate postural control, core control or shoulder function they will be unable to sit at their desk to be able to complete their schoolwork.  

If your child has difficulties with their gross motor skills, they may; 

  • Avoid or be uninterested in physical activities 
  • Rush tasks or become fatigued easily 
  • Perform a challenging task silly 
  • Tell others how to do the task, or play without active engagement  
  • Not meet their developmental milestones 

Some gross motor activities your child can do include; 

  • Playground activities, i.e. monkey bars, race up and over, climb up slides 
  • Animal walks 
  • Completing activities and jobs in different positions i.e. lay on floor, standing, squatting 
  • Balloon game, keep it off the floor 
  • Hopscotch, big board game (snakes and ladders) 
  • Cricket, table tennis, basket throws, hit the target 
  • Crawling under, over and through 
  • Pushing, pulling activities 
  • Balance games 

An additional aspect of gross motor skills is the incorporation and integration of the sensory system. Sensory motor skills enhance development and learning through creating additional and stronger pathways in the brain and can help the body remember actions easier. Some great sensory motor activities include:  

  • Obstacle courses with instructions i.e. the floor is lava 
  • Twister  
  • Drawing in the sand 
  • Nature walks 
  • Ball games i.e. throwing catching, kicking, bouncing, under over 
  • Follow a path: line tag or mazes 
  • Swings 

Gross motor activities have many benefits and provide the skills to be able to complete daily activities including; running, jumping, playing, dressing, getting into cars, sitting at a desk, etc. Its important in incorporate this into your child’s daily activities so they can grow and learn and have an active happy life.