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Motor Skills: What are they?

Motor skills are the skills related to the body’s ability to move and coordinate the muscles of the body. These are the skills that allow us to carry out everyday activities and we use them nearly every minute of the day!

Motors skills are essential for baby’s for everyone and they start developing in different ways at different ages. Typically, children develop certain motor skills at specific ages, but there are no certain ages at which each child will reach a milestone as the all develop at different speeds!

Why does my child need motor skills?

Working on motor skills is essential for many reasons as these skills help children gain body strength and confidence and allow them to perform everyday tasks. We take our motor skills forward in life with us, so the earlier that they start to develop, the better!

When can my child start developing motor skills?

Your child can start developing motor skills as a newborn! You will even see them start to develop these skills on their own. From birth to 3 months, you will notice your baby swinging their arms or trying to hit or touch objects. They may even pull your hair!

You will also notice them start to watch you and your hands as you move!

The earlier you start to develop these skills, the better their skill level becomes. It will aid children’s abilities to perform more complex skills in the future, like playing sports, instruments amongst other complex activities.

In addition, the sooner these develop, the sooner any potential issues regarding motor skills can be identified. The late identification of these can interrupt little ones development!

The achievement of one milestone tends to lead to another. For example, some babies typically do not walk until 9-12 months, but in order to reach this, they have to reach other huge milestones like supporting their own neck, sitting up independently and crawling before they have the strength or confidence to walk.

Motor skills are essential to:

  • Allow children to move and complete tasks independently

  • Promote cognitive, speech, and sensory development

  • Help children to exercise and undertake physical activities, key to a healthy lifestyle

  • Boost confidence and independence

  • Aid the progression of developmental milestones

  • Potentially prevent early motor delays and conditions that can interrupt development

There are 2 different types of motor skills: gross motor skills and fine motor skills.

Both of these are essential for children’s growth, capabilities and independence.

What are fine motor skills?

Fine motor skills relate to the movement of smaller muscle groups, like those in the hands and fingers and also refers to what we know as “hand-eye coordination”, whereby we move our bodies in line with what we are seeing.

Skills that require fine motor skills vary at different ages and we will see the skills develop as the little ones age. We are able to pick up more activities as we develop these skills.

Some activities that use fine motor skills are:

  • Playing with small toys

  • Holding hands together

  • Writing, scribbling and colouring in

  • Grasping and holding on to objects, like toys

  • Typing on a keyboard and playing instruments

  • Feeding themselves food using their hands and cutlery

  • Clapping hands and waving

  • Brushing teeth, hair and carrying out basic hygiene

What are gross motor skills?

Gross motor skills are the movements that are related to larger muscle groups, like those in the arms and legs. This relates to some of the bigger activities that we perform like walking, lifting and climbing. These again begin to develop at a very young age and continue to develop throughout our lives, but the sooner we reach gross motor skill milestones, the sooner we will complete bigger activities.

Some activities that use gross motor skills are:

  • Rolling over, supporting your head and the ability to sit independently

  • Climbing things like furniture and stairs

  • Walking, running, jumping and riding a bike

  • Throwing and catching toys and balls

  • Developing hand-eye coordination

How often should I work on my little ones motor skills?

Every. Single. Day! And we can help.

Our classes are designed to develop boost children's development, especially their gross and fine motor skills through sports and fun activities!

Book a FREE trial lesson now!

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