Starfish Therapies

July 11, 2010

How to Encourage Gross Motor Development in Kids

Here is a brief article (I had a word limit which is why it is on the short side) I was asked to write about encouraging gross motor development in kids.  What I’m adding to it are several blogs I have written that all play into this topic and will support you in supporting your child.

Gross motor skills in kids are continuously changing as they grow however as a parent there are certain things you can do to encourage their development regardless of what stage they are at.

A specific tool for all little one is to make sure they are getting on their belly. Tummy time is extremely critical for developing the building blocks that they will use as they progress their gross motor skills. This doesn’t mean just put them on their belly and walk away, use it as time to bond and play with your child. Make tummy time fun for them!

A more general tool for all kids is, don’t make it too easy on them. If you pick your child up as soon as they cry or you keep everything in their reach they don’t have to learn how to move because everything is being done for them. A little bit of frustration is a good thing because it drives their development. Knowing your child is important though because while a little bit of frustration is good, too much can cause the opposite effect and they won’t do anything. So, if they start to get a little frustrated, give them a little help to obtain their goal. For example, if they are lying down and want to sit up but don’t know how to, instead of picking them up and placing them in sitting, help them move and use their muscles to get into sitting so they start to learn how to do it. Kids learn by doing!

What Influences Gross Motor Development

Practice Makes Perfect

Motor Planning 101

Repetition and the Beauty of ‘Redo’

Frustration:  A Catalyst to Learning

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