What Are Gross Motor Skills?

All children start to develop new skills as they grow older. One fundamental set of skills that your child should add to their repertoire are gross motor skills

This article will discuss exactly what these skills are and how they should develop over the ages. More so, we will mention what you should do if your child is delayed.

What It Means When We Discuss Gross Motor Skills

In short, gross motor skills include all skills that involve the entire body (the stomach, back, arms, and legs). This includes straightforward activities, such as sitting, standing, walking, jumping, running, lifting, and kicking. It also has slightly more complicated activities, including swimming and riding a bike. 

Gross Motor Skills At Various Ages

As a newborn baby, your child should start developing hand-eye coordination. This means that they will be able to bat a toy or voluntarily move their limbs around. They should also begin to lift their heads and chests when placed on their stomachs. 

As they start getting older, your child should begin to move more. They generally start rolling from their backs to their stomachs (or vise versa) on their own. At about nine months, they may begin sitting when their abdominal muscles grow strong enough. During this time, they may even start crawling. 

When they turn 2, they will begin walking around or running rather clumsily. More so, they should be able to jump with both feet at this age. At 3, they may be able to balance on one foot or ride a tricycle. 

From 4 onwards, balancing on one foot becomes way too easy. Their hand-eye coordination should develop massively, and they may even begin to play catch. At 5, their gross motor skills should allow them to try swimming or riding a regular bike. 

What If My Child Has Gross Motor Skill Delays?

Every child is different. Some kids learn to walk when they are nine months old, while others only get the hang of it at 3. It is important to remember not to push your child too hard, as their time will eventually come. 

With that being said, there are a few signs to look out for that will indicate whether or not your child is struggling with their gross motor skills:

  • Your child tries to get out of physical activities.
  • Your child jokes about how easy a task is and doesn’t do it properly.
  • Your child tells other kids how to do a task but doesn’t do it themselves. 

Concluding Thoughts

Gross motor skills are any skills or activities that involve the entire body, such as swimming, walking, running, and jumping. As your child grows up, their gross motor skills should begin to develop. If your child takes a while longer to start walking, sitting, or crawling, it does not mean that you have to start panicking. Each child is different and will develop in their own time.

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