As parents, we are always worried with our children’s milestones. Each child develops motor skills at different rates. But motor skills allow the child to be more independent. Kids find it difficult to do things like running, jumping, holding something in their fingers or operating scissors.
Children must master both gross and fine motor skills for healthy growth. Having good motor skills help children to explore the world around them more effectively.
Gross motor skills – Movements involving Large muscles like arms, legs. Eg: Walking, jumping, throwing.
Fine motor skills – Movements involving smaller muscle sets like fingers or wrist. Eg: Holding a pencil, pincer grip, wearing sandals.
Babies are capable of developing motor skills by everyday interactions with household objects. You don’t need to purchase expensive toys for them to develop these skills. Crawling is a great way to develop motor skills, as is walking. Children encounter various textures, patterns, colours and sounds and start interpreting them. They learn to balance their weight on their legs while walking, they learn waving hands. All these are nothing but motor skills.
Let’s now see some activities which you can do with your child to improve their motor skills.
For gross motor skills:
Trampolines are a great way to improve your child’s balance. If your child is very young, you can opt for a mini-trampoline at home. You have to follow some basic safety measures, but once the child starts enjoying it, it is really worthwhile.
If you were contemplating enrolling your child in a karate class, we’d say, go for it! Martial arts are a good way to help children develop their core strength and also strengthen the muscles of arms and legs. Martial arts help in improving balance tremendously.
Swimming is not only a superb exercise routine for your kids, but also helps them improve their balance and coordination. As they move their arms and legs to stay afloat, children develop their muscle strength and string gross motor skills.
Playing on a playground is one of the best ways a child can develop gross motor skills. Sadly pollution and dearth of space is causing playgrounds to become non-existent. Still, if you have a play area nearby, make it a point to take your child there regularly. Let them run. Swinging on a swing set, climbing and coming down a slide, or going up and down on a seesaw are all helpful in developing balance and coordination.
For fine motor skills
Encourage your child to play with play dough. Each movement, be it squeezing, stretching, pinching or rolling, plays a major role in strengthening their finger and wrist muscles and developing fine motor skills.
Cutting and pasting
Let your child hold a pair of scissors and learn to cut paper. Teach her to apply glue and stick the paper. These activities are very useful for fine motor skills.
Painting is a method that strengthens a child’s hand-eye coordination. Finger painting gives children hours of fun by allowing them to use their hands and get messy. Brush painting helps them hold the brush correctly and apply colour. Both these activities develop their dexterity.
Puzzles are a great way of making overexcited kids calm. They have a soothing effect on the senses. Kids not only develop their fine motor skills with this, but also improve their visual and spatial capabilities.
Aren’t these activities fun? You can relax, have a great bonding session with your child as well as develop their motor skills! Win-win situation! Share what you do to improve your children’s motor skills. More the merrier!