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Gross Motor Skills

Gross Motor Skills

The abilities generally acquired during infancy and early childhood, as part of a child's motor growth, are known as gross motor skills. The upcoming transitions provide a plethora of information on the activities that help in honing these skills.
Kundan Pandey
Movements and actions of the muscles are known as motor skills. They are of two types, namely gross and fine. The activities that require the functioning of large muscle groups such as arms, legs, or entire body are known as gross motor skills. The activities included are running, walking, sitting, kicking, standing, lifting, swimming, climbing, hoping, etc. Small movements that occur in the fingers, toes, lips, tongue, wrists, etc., are known as fine motor skills. Right from the time of birth, we develop body and limb awareness, and motor planning skills which continue to evolve throughout our lifespan. These are essential for a good posture, movement, participation in games and sports, and for general fitness and wellbeing. In young people, problems of muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and some neurological complications can severely hamper all these facets. Other factors, such as accidents, injuries, illnesses, and stroke can also majorly retard a child's mental development.

Activities for Kids

General Play
Encourage the child to indulge in a lot of indoor and outdoor activities which involve running, hoping, jumping, skipping, riding a bicycle, etc.

One Foot Balance
Ask the child to balance on one foot to a count of 3, then the other foot. Slowly and steadily increase the length of time required to balance. Thereafter, try the same activity with eyes closed.

Playing with Balls
For this, one can either use a soccer ball, baseball, or tennis ball. The ball must be thrown a few meters away, and kids must be encouraged to bring them back to the parents/guardians. This is one of the best activities for toughening the muscles.

Table Setting
In this activity, the kids are asked to set the table by following certain instructions. For example, they must bring a plate from the rack, spoon from the drawer, and glasses from the cupboard.

Simon Says
In this game, the kids are asked to imitate movements, such as arm rotation, hip rotation, and certain facial expressions.

Practicing writing on a regular basis also helps in bringing about a coordination between the fingers and eyes. Dancing, swimming, and group games for kids, involving immense physical movement, are perfect examples of activities that help in the overall growth of the body and mind. Besides strengthening the muscles, these skills also improve a child's endurance power.
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