Gross motor skills are those which include the co-ordination of your child’s limbs i.e his larger and stronger muscles. Running, jumping or hugging would be considered gross motor skills. These skills need to be developed to ensure that the child’s muscles are not only strong but also so that the child can move around with ease. Gross motor skills continue to develop even after your baby starts walking. Balancing and hopping are all gross motor skills.
It is imperative to develop your child’s gross motor skills and exercise their muscles to make them stronger. Here are some fun activities to do with your child:
What is needed:
Balls of different sizes and textures.
To develop gross motor skills
Play with your toddler by tossing a football or a soft toy ball into a big laundry basket. A variation could be kicking it into the side-turned basket(like a football goal) as well. By using balls of different weights he can understand how to vary the amount of force to use. First start off nearer to the basket and as your toddler gets better, move farther away.
What is needed:
To develop gross motor skills like balance
By making a child walk on a balance beam is a fun way to help improve the toddlers balance. If a beam of some sort is not available another way is to draw a line on the floor with chalk and see if the toddler can walk on it keeping one foot in front of the other.
A few more activities to help improve gross motor skills are:
- All parents must have found out that children love big empty boxes. Inspite of all the toys your toddler may have, a cardboard box will always catch his attention. Let him play with it because pushing around a cardboard box and lifting it etc. will exercise his gross motor muscles.
- A similar activity to activity no. 1 can also be done with balloons. Blow up a balloon and play catch. This will not only improve the toddlers gross motor skills by chasing and catching but also his hand-eye coordination.
- Play the “Now you must” game. You say “Now you must touch a door handle” or “Now you must sit on something white” and the other people must do these as fast as they can( its best played in a group).
- An alternative to activity no.2 is playing hopscotch.