We often hear these terms as it relates to the development of babies, toddlers and preschoolers. In this article, we throw some light on these skills.
Gross motor skills
Gross motor skills are those that use large muscle groups. For example, these are the skills that let a baby that is few months old lift up her head when she is lying on her tummy. As baby grows, more and more of these are built up and help the baby rollover, sit, crawl, stand, walk, run and so on. Gross motor skills are extremely important for fine motor skills to develop also.
Some tips for encouraging gross motor skills development
- Ensure your child is physically active
- Get your child a large ball to play with - kicking, throwing
- Help children exercise larger muscles through activities like climbing. Take your child to the park and let them climb the equipment there. You can even facilitate this at home, by putting a couple of chairs together with a sofa and letting children climb all over them.
- Play games involving jumping, hopping etc.,
- Have children imitate animals - prowl like a tiger on all fours, crawl around and swing their head from side to side like an elephant, slither like a crocodile etc.,
Fine motor skills
Fine motor skills are those that use hands and fingers to grasp and manipulate small objects. For example, these are the skills that let children button their clothes, hold a crayon and draw, hold a pen and write, eating with their hands or with a spoon, etc., Gross motor skills are important for fine motor skills to develop.
Some toys/activities for encouraging fine motor skills development
- Play dough (clay) to play with
- Painting materials - paper, brushes, paints, crayons
- Building blocks that are easy to grasp (eg., Lego Duplo)
- Safe plastic scissors to cut paper
- Stencils to trace
- Dots to connect
- Throw and catch a ball
My kid has a very short attention span with pencil or crayons. Is it common? He is 30 months old. I am yet to try the play dough thing. He plays with puzzles and blocks.
the earlier the child is given an opportunity to enhance his fine and gross motor skills, the better..there are ways to help children as young as 1 month old