Gross Motor Skill Examples

10 Gross Motor Skill Examples


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This article provides gross motor skill examples. These include jumping, climbing, and running as well as more specific activities like balance beam walking or skipping rope. Find out how you can encourage your child to develop their gross motor skills!

Gross Motor Skills

“All those skills that require whole-body movements are called gross motor skills“. We know the babies learn to crawl, sit, walk, run, and jump with time.

It also includes those skills that require eyes and body coordination for proper execution. All those abilities that require our large body muscle movements for better performance are termed gross motor skills.

What are gross motor skills?

What are gross motor skills? Gross motor skills are the ability to use large muscles in the body to perform tasks such as sitting, standing, walking, and running. These skills develop during infancy and continue to develop throughout childhood.

These skills usually require your arms and leg muscles movement. These skills start and grow with time and are learned skills to some extent.

Babies develop these skills with time.

At the age of six months, babies start to observe their surroundings and they learn to hold things with the help of their hands. With time they learn to maintain balance and can sit.

When they reach the age of nine-month they learn to stand with the help of something like table or chair. Then they start to learn to walk, and these are gross motor skills.

They require most of the muscle movement like a hand, leg, foot and involve the related muscles.

Gross Motor Skill Examples

Here are Gross Motor Skill Examples that children learn at an early age are:

1. Crawling

It is the baby’s first milestone and is the first step toward complex gross motor skills. We have discussed that gross motor skills require most of our large muscle movements.

Where are these large muscles in our body? Our hands, legs, belly, and back have the largest muscles.

What happens when a baby crawls? When a baby crawls it uses all these muscles, he moves his hand and legs with the coordination of the belly and the back muscles.

2. Sitting

When a baby grows to the age of five and six months it starts perceiving its surroundings. This is the age when most of the healthy babies turn themselves and try to sit.

Or hold a toy that is placed at some distance, for doing this they usually move their hands and legs to push themselves ahead and with time this movement helps them in sitting.

A child learns with time to sit upright with the use of hand, leg, belly, and back muscles, and all these muscles are large. Hence, sitting is a gross motor skill.

3. Lifting

When a baby reaches the age of three months, he starts to use his fingers. That is not a gross motor skill; these skills involve large muscles like lifting our hands and picking up something.

4. Walking

It is also one of the gross motor skills and requires our large muscles for its healthy execution. Children at the age of nine or ten months commonly struggle to walk on their two feet.

They try to maintain their balance by holding something with some support. When we walk, all our large body muscles coordinate; therefore, walking is a motor skill.

In addition, children learn to maintain their balance even on one foot at the age of two. Hence standing and balancing on one foot uses gross motor abilities.

5. Running

After learning to walk, what is the next milestone in learning gross motor skills? Yes, it is running. After maintaining balance during the walk, babies try to achieve “running.”

Running is a whole-body workout. There are lots of body muscles involved in running. Some of these are the core, calf, flexors, tendons, and ligaments.

6. Jumping

It is a next-level motor skill children learn to jump to a certain height at the age of two. They can even jump from a height.

7. Kicking

Kicking is also an example of gross motor skills. For example, when children kick a ball with their legs, they use their back and leg muscles.

Children at the age of two years learn this skill. As a result, they can kick a ball and maintain their balance during the process.

8. Cycling

Cycling is also a child’s motor skill that involves our long muscles. Children at the age of two learn to ride a tricycle and can ride a bicycle accurately at six.

They quickly learn to maintain their balance while cycling. With time they can even manage it without holding its handle.

9. Catching

Catching is another skill that involves our muscle coordination. When children learn to catch a ball, they can perceive the position of the ball coming toward them.

10. Swimming

Swimming is a great motor skill! Children can swim with the right training and master the skill. Swimming will make muscles strong and is a refreshing skill.

Child’s Gross Motor skills

Kids need to achieve different developmental milestones at different childhood levels and here are the gross motor skills that children attain at different ages;

1. Toddlers

Kids between one and two years are called toddlers, and they have much of their body awareness and learn different motor skills.

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Holding a toy
  • Whole-body movement
  • Sitting and standing
  • Crawling
  • Moving ahead
  • Moving upward with the help of legs
  • Walking with or without support
  • Climbing stairs

2. Early childhood

It is the age between 2 to 6 years and kids learn some foundational skills and some bigger movements. They learn some more complex physical activities that are important for their childhood development. these skills are;

  • Reading and writing
  • Standing on one foot
  • Riding a bicycle with the help of training wheels
  • Climbing monkey bars
  • Learning ball skills that involve throwing and catching a ball.
  • Kicking a rolling ball with anyone leg
  • Jumps to a certain height

These are a few skills but there are many that kids during their childhood learn to do. The parents need to encourage their child to learn these skills and by doing this they will usually have a healthy tummy time in their early years and it will keep them healthy.

How to develop gross motor skills?

Many activities can help a child in learning gross motor skills. These activities help in muscle coordination and with practice, kids learn to do complex things without any problem. Here are some of the activities that are important for a healthy child’s development.

1. Indoor activities

Parents can encourage their kids to do these indoor activities, even toddlers can take part in some of the activities.

  • Playing with building blocks
  • Pulling and pushing the cars, and trolley.
  • Jumping and hoping
  • To hit the target

2. Outdoor activities

There are many games and activities that children can do out of their houses and are called outdoor games.

  • Catching and throwing a ball
  • Walking, running, and jumping on a trampoline
  • Riding a bicycle
  • Swimming
  • Shooting down through a slide.
  • Climbing ladders
  • Sand play
  • Skipping

Are fine motor skills and gross motor skills similar?

Are fine motor skills and gross motor skills similar? No, both of these skills have differences.

Fine motor skills involve the movement of the small muscles like the muscles of our hands and fingers. When we hold things with our hands and pick something up we use our small muscles. Learning writing skills is a fine motor skill.

While gross motor skills involve the movement of our large muscles, and it involves some complex movement hence is different from fine motor skills.

Delays in the gross motor skills

Many children do not achieve the milestones that are specific at different ages but the kids have to achieve them at different levels for their healthy life. Many peer-reviewed studies have been conducted to evaluate the causes behind these delays.

According to the studies the causes behind these delays are;

1. Dyspraxia

It is a disease that causes motor delays in children. It is a lifelong condition. It is a neurological disorder that affects physical coordination. Dyspraxia is a developmental coordination disorder that creates difficulty in child motor planning. Children suffering from this disorder cannot perform their gross motor activities accurately.

2. Dysgraphia

Dysgraphia is another neurological disorder that creates problems in performing some of the fine motor skills and creates problems in learning, reading, and writing. Kids with this disorder have unusual writing and they feel difficulty in writing because of the weakness in the hand muscle and brain processing.

3. Developmental delays

Sometimes developmental delays become a cause of gross motor delays. Children suffering from developmental delays have problems with their gross motor activities. They get this problem by birth. Many incidents have been reported that occupational therapy helps in reducing the effects of developmental delays.

4. Neurological problems

Many children are born with neurological problems and as a result, suffer from gross motor delays; they cannot perform physical activity and do not even have their body awareness.

5. Lack of physical exercise

One of the reasons behind these gross motor delays is a lack of physical exercise. children who do not use their muscles can get this problem.

Physical activity, physical therapy, and proper exercise can help in reducing the symptoms. Encourage your kids to move their bodies and do physical exercise to maintain their health.

6. Genetic conditions

Some gross motor delays result due to genetic conditions. Achondroplasia is a genetic condition that causes motor delays in children.

In this condition they get shorter limbs than a normal one that creates trouble even in small movements.

7. Treatment of the gross motor delays

The gross motor delays vary from mild to moderate, mild delays can be cured easily without any treatment but the moderate to severe delays need help.

Parents should take help from their doctors to resolve the issues that are related to their child’s gross motor skills.

Suggestions for Gross Motor Skill Delays.

Here are some suggestions for your child gross motor delays;

  • Consult with the occupational physical therapist.
  • Consult with the pediatric physical therapist, they will suggest the possible medicines and the treatments for your child’s gross motor delays.
  • Physical therapy also helps in reducing the symptoms of gross motor delays.
  • Regular exercise will help in reducing the severity of the problem.

Parents should keep an eye on their child’s growth and development and observe them. They should cooperate and encourage their kids to learn new skills.

If they perceive any abnormality, they should consult a doctor and take timely action.

Gross Motor Skill Examples Conclusion

This article has covered a lot of ground. If you are interested in learning more about the different Gross Motor Skill Examples for development, please let me know!

I would love to share more articles with you on this subject. If you like this article about Gross Motor Skill Examples and would like to know more, please comment below.

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