What Are Gross Motor Skills?

The skills that help In large movements like the movement of arms, legs, and torso are termed as Gross Motor Skills. As these Skills are involved, both consciously and unconsciously, in vital movements practiced in everyday routine, therefore, any disorder in Motor Skills affects the life of children severely by causing hindrance during sports, exercise, jumping, and other similar physical activities that involve such skills.

Children who master motor skills at an early stage are more likely to excel in their life.

 Gross Motor Skills Meaning?  

Motor skills are the kinds of skills that aid in every movement of our body. Be it playing football with a group of friends out in the open playground or coloring a sketch with a tiny pencil while sitting in a closed room all the movements that our body tends to perform owe their smooth performance to well-developed motor skills. For the convenience of explanation let us discuss the kinds of Motor Skills.

 Fine Motor skills  

As the name suggests Fine Motor Skills are those skills that relate to fine movements like delicate or minute. 

To elucidate it more simply, Fine Motor Skills are those skills that help in small movements as they are controlled by smaller muscles of our body such as drawing, writing, scrolling cell phones with the help of thumb, licking lips with tongue.

The movements which involve higher levels of precision require highly developed Fine Motor Skills.

 Gross Motor Skills  

Contrary to the Fine Motor Skills, which help in smaller movements of our body, These Skills are associated with the movement of larger muscles mainly the muscles of arms, legs, and trunk. 

These skills, as mentioned earlier, are used by us without even being noticed consciously for instance walking, running, climbing a ladder, throwing a ball, jumping off heights, skipping rope.

 Gross Motor Skills vs Fine Motor Skills 

Gross Motor Skills
  •  
    Skills that require the use of large muscle groups.
  •  
    These involve muscle groups, like the ones in our limbs (arms and legs)
  •  
    Activities such as running, jumping, climbing, swimming etc. are based on good gross motor skills.
  •  
    Gross motor skills are related to the core strength of the body and are developed first.
Fine Motor Skills
  •  
    Skills that require the use of small muscle groups.
  •  
    These involve the muscle of our hands, feet etc.
  •  
    Fine motor skills are developed in later stages and are based on good gross motor skills.
  •  
    More fine activities like writing, tying shoelaces, doling up sandals, zips, buttons, belts etc. are based on good fine motor skills.

 Gross Motor Skills List 

List of some of these skills

  • Sitting
  • Walking
  • Standing
  • Running
  • Catching a ball
  • Throwing a ball
  • Jumping
  • Lifting any object
  • Going up and downstairs
  • Swiming
  • Lifting any object ( Spoon, Toy, Hairbrush, Book, Pencil, etc)
  • Kicking
  • Clapping
  • Writing
  • Painting
  • Board games

 Gross Motor Skills Development 

The process of development of Motor skills initiates after the birth of the child and it continues through the whole life, although, most of the Motor skills are developed during the early stages of life. 

There is no distinction between Fine and Gross Motor Skills when their development is in question as both these skills are developed side by side helping the child to adapt and cope with the ever-changing circumstances of his environment. 

The development process is mostly involuntary which happens without any conscious efforts, however, deliberate efforts may also be made for the development of such skills.

Gymnasts train their bodies to perform actions which are not typically possible for ordinary human beings similarly a person may train himself and learn how to swim even after he has reached the middle stages of life.

 Importance Of These Skills 

Well-developed Motor Skills play a very vital role in every person’s life, yet their importance is comparatively higher in children’s life. 

These skills not only help the children in the performance of their tasks but they lay the foundation for a child’s future progress. 

A child with better-developed motor skills will have better chances of excelling in extra-curricular activities, Additionally, these skills play a vital role in cognitive and behavioral learning which directly impacts the academic progress of children. 

Following are a few examples that describe the importance of well-developed motor skills.

  • These help in better understanding and use of language.
  • A child with better-developed motor skills has better adaptability to the changes in the environment.
  • Helps in building self-esteem within children.
  • Better developed physical attributes.
  • Better developed motor skills help in refining Cognitive and mental faculties.

 What Are Gross Motor Skills Milestones 

There is no defined scale for determining how well these skills are developed within a person but experts have defined some milestones which a child should achieve at a certain age.

The achievement of such a milestone implies that the motor skills of children are developing normally. However, sometimes because of some factors motor skills may suffer a disorder and the child may not be able to adequately reach the milestone at the prescribed age.

Following are a few milestones that represent the development of your child’s motor skill development.

 Motor Skills For Infants 

  • Able to move arms and legs easily
  • Able to touch their face without help
  • Able to lift his head without external help
  • Able to put little weight on arms while lying on stomach
  • Able to touch their feet and keen

 Motor Skills for toddlers 

  • Able to sit with little help
  • Able to stand with external support
  • Able to exchange toys between hands
  • Able to push himself up by putting weight on arms while lying on belly
  • Able to creep and pivot on the stomach

 Motor Skills For 1-Year-Old 

  • Able to sit without external support
  • Able to use fingers and thumbs to grab small toys or other objects
  • Able to move the head and look towards attentive objects and actions
  • Able to walk while holding one hand or both
  • Able to stand to pick anything from the floor

 Motor Skills For 2-Year-Old 

  • Able To walk without any difficulty
  • Able to push or pull things while walking
  • Able to pick toys or other objects from the floor by squatting
  • Able to pull toys while walking
  • Able to walk up to the railing holding hands

 Motor Skills For 3-year-Old 

  • Able to Jump with both feet.
  • They should be able to walk backward or walk a line
  • Able to pedal a Tricycle with the help
  • Able to catch a big ball 5/10 times
  • Able to maintain balance

 Motor Skills For 4-year-old 

  • Able to jump, run and climb easily
  • Able to hope on one foot 2-3 times
  • Able to pedal a Tricycle without any help
  • Able to catch a small ball 8/10 times
  • Able to run obstacles

 Motor Skills For Preschoolers 

  • Able to jump forward without falling
  • Able to balance on one foot for 10 second
  • Able to ride a bicycle
  • Able to hop on one foot 10 times
  • Able to catch a small ball 10/10 times
 Common Disorders For Not Developing These Skills 

The development of these skills or the performance of the actions being performed by such skills may be affected by various disorders or diseases throughout the course of life.

Some of the reasons causing disorder of Motor Skills in children are.

  • Muscle dystrophy
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Genetic disorders
  • Coordination Disorder

Apart from the above-mentioned reasons sometimes Motor Skills may also suffer malfunctioning as a result of certain unfortunate events.

  • Neural stroke
  • Injury affecting the nervous system
  • Illness
 What To Do If Not Developed? 

The parents should pay keen attention to their children’s developmental milestones and if they notice that their child is missing these milestones then there are numerous methods that will help in the better development of such Gross and Fine Motor Skills.

  • Subjecting the child to such activities that require coordination between visual and sensory coordination inducing movement of muscles like cycling, dancing.
  • Subjecting the child to use Pikler Triangle as Pikler Triangles are one of the few objects designed by pediatrics to help the child improve their motor and cognitive skills.
  • Subjecting the child to such games that require mental and physical activity.
 Should I Be Concerned?  

If you have read this far then it means you must be thinking of your child missing his/her development milestones and are thinking about what you should do about it.

If you have noticed something not normal about your child then you should consult a pediatrician as soon as possible because with due care and timely action you can provide your child with the help that will most like decide the future course of his life.

 Look What I Have Found For You 

If you have read this far, I can assume you are pretty concerned about your child’s development and want to polish your child’s basic Motor Skills.

To do so you will be looking for the activities or toys which will help your toddler to improve his/her Motor Skills, which will make them healthy and strong.

There are different toys for instance Tricycle, Hop & Skip toys, wheely bug, and many more, which can help your children flourish their Gross Motor Skills. But the toy I am in love with is the Pikler Triangle.

A child is sitting on a Pikler Triangle Ramp
Children are playing with Pikler Triangle Rock Wall and Slide
Two children are playing with fully assembled Pikler Triangle
A beautiful baby girl is having fun with Pikler Triangle

This toy almost develops every Motor skill important for your child. It engages them in Walking, Standing, Climbing, Running, Sliding, and many other activities.

This Toy is quite costly but for me, it’s the best option. There are different Types Of Pikler Triangle available in the market and also if you want to avoid the price tag, You can also go for DIY.

You can also find Second-Hand Pikler Triangle If you are lucky. This Toy has different extensions namely Rock Wall, Ramp, Sliding Ramp So your babies can have fun according to their likings.

As for me, I am all Thumbs-Up for the Pikler Triangle.

 

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