Gross motor skills are the abilities required in order to control the large muscles of the body. Adequate gross motor development is required before appropriate fine motor skill development can occur. These motor skills usually develop together since many activities depend on the coordination of gross and fine motor skills.
Although this is not my area of expertise, I do utilize many gross motor activities prior to focusing on fine motor tasks. Again, my belief is that a child needs to be able to coordinate his body for larger movements before smaller, more precise movements are required of them.
In my experience, I have found that many children that struggle with such fine motor tasks as cutting, coloring, and beading, often have difficulty hopping, jumping rope, and/or skipping.
Children reach developmental milestones at different rates. Pushing a child to perform a task that is impossible due to development status promotes frustration and disappointment. Children should be allowed to acquire motor skills at their own paces.
GROSS MOTOR ACTIVITIES:
- Playing hopscotch, hopping on one foot and jumping rope help develop balance
- Hitting, catching, kicking, or throwing a ball (beach ball, football, or soccer ball) help develop hand-eye or foot-eye coordination
- Hopping like a kangaroo – child holds something, such as a small ball, between his knees and then jump with their feet together in different ways
- Wheelbarrow walking -someone holds the child's legs while he walks on his hands
- Walking on a narrow line/curb, while holding a bulky object in one hand, then the other hand, and then repeating the activity walking backwards and sideways
- Swimming, doing karate/gymnastics, and using playground equipment all foster bilateral coordination, muscle strengthening and trunk control