Is your child a pro at fine motor skills already?  Is he or she ready to move on to the bigger tasks?  Gross motor skills need to be developed in the same way that fine motor skills do.  Both are equally important, though one may seem smaller than the other.  If your child hasn’t mastered fine motor skills yet, refer back to our last Child Development post and try a few of the activities at home today.
While fine motor skills focus on the tiny muscles in the fingers and toes, gross motor skills focus on arm and leg muscles.  Anything from crawling to running to jumping is considered a gross motor skill and must be developed and practiced by your child.  How can you do this from your own home?  We’re so glad you asked! We’ve got a few activities for gross motor skill development below:
Gross Motor Skills:

  1. Exercise dice
    • Use two old cardboard boxes, construction paper and a Sharpie to create two dice.  On one, write action words like “jump” or “twirl”.  On the other, write animals like “cow” or “snake”.  Have your child roll the two dice and then complete the task listed, no matter how silly (ex: jump like a cow or twirl like a snake)!
  2. Pom Pom Hockey
    • Take the pom pom and tongs activity from the fine motor skill development blog to the next level.  Create goals on either end of a room by laying tape down in a square shape on the floor.  Give your kids a pool noodle, small broom or cardboard tube to use as a hockey stick.  Then drop a bunch of pom poms on the ground between them.  On your mark, have them hit as many pom poms as they can into the opposite goal.
  3. Pretend Play
    • Gross motor skills are enhanced by knowing what your body has the ability to do.  Pretend play with your children by having them act out animal motions such as hopping like to a kangaroo, or have them pretend to be different things, like an airplane or a tree.