We all know that those beginning years in a child’s life are incredibly important for development. As an infant progresses into toddlerhood they are expected to walk, run, jump and sit upright in a chair. Movement is a part of your child’s everyday life but what happens when these skills are delayed? The child can appear uncoordinated, uninterested in play and at times difficult to manage.
Below is some useful information regarding the importance of gross motor skill acquisition...
What are Gross Motor Skills?
Gross motor (physical) skills are those which require whole body movement and which involve the large (core stabilising) muscles of the body to perform everyday functions, such as standing and walking, running and jumping, and sitting upright at the table. They also include eye-hand coordination skills such as ball skills (throwing, catching, kicking) as well as riding a bike or a scooter and swimming.
Gross motor abilities also have an influence on other everyday functions. For example, a child’s ability to maintain appropriate table top posture (upper body support) will affect their ability to participate in fine motor skills (e.g. writing, drawing and cutting) and sitting upright to attend to class instruction, which then impacts on their academic learning. Gross motor skills impact on your endurance to cope with a full day of school (sitting upright at a desk, moving between classrooms, carrying your heavy school bag). They also impact your ability to navigate your environment (e.g. walking around classroom items such as a desk, up a sloped playground hill or to get on and off a moving escalator). Without fair gross motor skills, a child will struggle with many day to day tasks such as eating, packing away their toys, and getting onto and off the toilet or potty.
What do difficulties with gross motor skill difficulties commonly look like?
•Children with gross motor difficulties commonly display:
•Avoidance or general disinterest in physical tasks
•Rush task performance of physical tasks (to mask difficulty or fatigue)
•Silly task performance of physical task they find challenging
•Bossiness in telling others how to do the physical task or play the game without actively engaging themselves
Source: Admin, Kid Sense Web. “Gross Motor Skills: Gross Motor Skills Development: Kid Sense.” Kid Sense Child Development, Kid Sense Child Development, 27 Sept. 2019, childdevelopment.com.au/areas-of-concern/gross-motor-skills/.
How does MG Rhythmic support gross motor skills development:
•The coaches are trained by Head Coach Giorgia Nobili as well as Occupational Therapist Lyudmila Teshler to ensure your child meets their age-appropriate milestones
•Classes are strategically designed to stimulate the brain in order to develop the whole child.
•Our Pre Gymnastics courses are tailored to the needs of each age group and their neurological development
•Each of our teachers is specially trained to work with their own age group
•Small group classes to ensure individualized attention
Here are the Milestones broken down by age:
- Jumps 8-14in
- Jumps from bottom step
- Catches large ball, using body to help
- Walks downstairs alone, places both feet on step
- Walks upstairs alone, alternating feet
- Climbs well
- Runs well, stopping and avoiding obstacles
- Imitates one foot standing
- Walks backwards 10 feet
- Walks on toes
- Jumps sideways, backwards and over a 2-8in hurdle
- Hops on one foot
- Stands on one foot 1-5 seconds
- Walks down stairs alternating feet (34+ months)
- Climbs playground equipment and ladders
- Catches 8in ball with hands
- Hops on one foot
- Walks on a line
- Stands on one foot
- Jumps down from 12 in with feet together
- Walks up and down stairs alternating feet without rail
- Stands on one foot 8-10 seconds
- Skips alternating feet
- Throws a ball to target
- Hops 5 times or more on one foot
- Begins jumping rope
- Pumps a swing
- Walks balance beam forward and backward
- Stands on one foot 10 seconds or more
- Catches a small ball with hands only
- Jumps over an object landing with feet together
- Walks tandem on a line
- Walks backwards heel to toe
- Walks balance beam avoiding obstacles
- Uses opposite step and throw to throw small ball
- Jumps rope forward, backward, criss-cross and alternating feet
- Skips well
- Kicks a ball with fair control/accuracy
By: Giorgia Nobili Owner and Lower Levels Head Coach & Lyudmyla Teshler MS., OTR/L Injury Prevention Program