Gross motor skills mean the abilities that are acquired by children in their infancy or early childhood, as a part of their motor development. This development refers to that of the motor neurons, located in the central nervous system (CNS), which control the muscular development of the child's body. A child's motor skills are built, improved, and controlled through the early stages of life, and are refined throughout its development into adulthood. Thus, they build up the muscles, and help them grow strong. Since preschool is just the right time for kids to develop these skills, it's great to teach them some activities at this age. Some of them are mentioned below.
Before learning about the various activities for motor development, caregivers must understand their purpose. They are mainly required for:
- Posture development
- Learning to walk
- Muscular development from the second year
- Muscular development throughout childhood
- Muscular development in adolescence and adulthood
Indoor Gross Motor Activities
Many people think, that indoor activities are mostly reading and writing, which do not involve a lot of physical work. However, children from the age of six months to 3 years, who are not very sharp in their physical abilities, need to polish their motor skills. For this purpose, the following indoor games are advised in many schools and daycare centers.
Board Games: You can change the sitting board games into active physical ones by making slight changes in the rules. What you could do is, take any of the colored board games, and decide an activity for each color. Every time a player lands on that color, everybody does the particular activity together. This way, you can involve all the kids, and have as much physical fun as you want.
Story Acts: Another great idea is to enact the stories that you tell the kids. You can make them do it with actions and dialogs, so they can remember as well as have exercises along with the fun of acting. While the dialogs can improve their memory, the physical activity is good for their bones and muscles.
Music Games: To create a fun environment, all you need to do is play some jingle music. You can have games like musical chairs, march with the band, etc., which have quite a lot of walking and jumping involved. Rhythm often makes kids walk, run, hop, gallop, jump, and skip to the tunes. Walking on the spot on one's toes or heels, is a great motor exercise for them. Walking in big, small, fast, and slow steps is also useful in developing the muscles, as it involves different kinds of movements and speed.
Outdoor Gross Motor Activities
Outdoors are very convenient for preschool children, as there is ample space for the kids to play, and the fresh air makes for a healthy environment. What you can't do indoor, you can surely make them play out in the garden or the public park. Take a look at a few such preschool activities which are definitely challenging for kids while developing their motor skills.
Skating and Biking: You can teach the kids how to skate in an open area without any obstacles, or teach them to ride a tricycle. This is a fun way of playing, and gives them a great exercise. Since it is very rigorous and needs strength, it can easily build the body muscles in lesser time. Make sure that you are there to teach them when they are learning, and once they can manage it on their own, you can just supervise.
Outdoor Games: There are many outdoor activities that can be carried out in the garden, parks, or even in your backyard. Kids love to play on the swings, slides, and jungle gyms, where there is a lot of climbing and jumping required. Playing with your dog, using a ball or Frisbee, is also a fun activity. These activities have to be introduced when the children are 1 to 6 years old, since this is the time they are developing and building their physical strength.
These activities are an opportunity to build up not only your kids' physical strength, but also their mental abilities. Make them as fit as you can with these fun gross motor activities for preschoolers.