Gross motor skills are the abilities required to control the muscles of the body for large movements such as crawling, walking, jumping, running, and more. They are essential for a child’s overall development, as they allow them to explore their environment, interact with others, and participate in activities.
The development of gross motor skills follows a predictable sequence, with each skill building on the previous one. Here are some of the key gross motor milestones for children:
- Crawling: Most babies start crawling between 6 and 9 months old. Crawling helps them develop their arm and leg muscles, as well as their coordination and balance.
- Walking: Most children start walking between 12 and 18 months old. Walking requires a lot of coordination and balance, as well as strength in the legs and core muscles.
- Running: Most children start running between 2 and 3 years old. Running requires even more coordination and balance, as well as strength in the legs and core muscles.
- Jumping: Most children start jumping between 3 and 4 years old. Jumping requires a lot of coordination and balance, as well as strength in the legs and core muscles.
- Riding a bike: Most children start riding a bike between 4 and 5 years old. Riding a bike requires a lot of coordination and balance, as well as strength in the legs and core muscles.
There are many things parents can do to help their children develop their gross motor skills. Here are a few ideas:
Provide a safe and stimulating environment for your child to explore. This could include a playroom with plenty of space to crawl, walk, and run, as well as toys that encourage movement, such as balls, blocks, and tricycles.
Encourage your child to be active. This could include taking them for walks, playing outside, or signing them up for sports or dance classes.