Movement plays a crucial role in a child’s development. And while every child learns movements at an individual rate, developmental delays may cause concern and hardship. As parents, we are constantly watching for milestones to be hit and it’s important for us to know the typical developmental timeline and to bring to our doctor’s attention any concerns or questions we may have about hitting those milestones. In partnership with ABC Pediatric Therapy, we’re sharing information about gross motor skill development in young children!
Gross Motor Skills for Young Children Include:
· Holding up the head
· Bouncing a ball
· Catching a ball
· Riding a bike
· Balance and coordination
· Strength and endurance
Gross Motor Skills are the large movement skills our body develops throughout our growing years. These include rolling, sitting, crawling, walking, jumping, riding bikes, and climbing. Proper development of gross motor skills requires strength, balance, postural control, and coordination. It also requires appropriate function of our joints and muscles.
Gross motor skills are very important to a child’s overall development, health, learning experiences, and self-esteem. Being able to keep up with peers on the playground encourages social and emotional development. Performing gross motor skills facilitates overall body health because it allows children to be physically active. This leads to a healthier heart, lungs, bones, and gastrointestinal system. The developmental process of gross motor skills affects other skill areas. The human body follows a step by step process, where one area often relies on another to achieve full function.
If a child is not achieving a milestone within a reasonable time frame, it is important to ask questions and seek out guidance right away because the next set of skills is coming up fast. The longer you wait, the further behind the child will fall. The earlier an intervention is provided, the more effective it can be.
For a full list of milestones, visit Pediatric Physical Therapy in Cincinnati & Dayton | ABC (abcpediatrictherapy.com)
Every trip to the playground can be an opportunity to practice gross motor skills, sometimes with no additional equipment or toys brought along! Climbing, swinging, jumping, ramps, and stairs are at almost every playground or naturescape playspace, so check your local area for places to play that allow your child to work on gross motor skills. Encouragement goes a long way, so don’t be afraid to join them and turn it into a game. Get creative – they might bee working hard but they’ll be having fun, too!