Motor skills development in children: step-by-step

Motor skills development in children: step-by-step

Parents play a crucial role in providing comprehensive support for their children's overall development, with motor skills being a key aspect influencing physical health and cognitive and social skills.

Understanding motor skills

Motor skill is the ability of the nervous system to control motion performance. Motor skills are divided into gross and fine motor skills.

  • Gross motor skills: involve movements such as walking, running, jumping and ball games. You can support gross motor skills development by allowing your child ample opportunities for free movement and outdoor play.
  • Fine motor skills involve fine and precise movements, such as writing, drawing, or manipulating small objects. Activities supporting the enhancement of fine motor skills include playing with toys, solving puzzles, or drawing.

Gross motor skills

These skills develop gradually, with muscles naturally strengthening and further enhancement possible through targeted training, especially during the first three years of a child's life when intentional movements evolve from reflexes to controlled actions. A child begins to crawl, walk, and jump, which beneficially influences the child’s development.

Games and activities for gross motor skills development

  • Basic movements: Running or jumping games aid in strengthening big muscles and enhance coordination,
  • Ball games: Playing with a ball refines balance, speed and reaction(time) abilities. Try various types of ball games based on your child’s age.

Fine motor skills

Their development occurs gradually and progresses through various stages, with considerations for the child's age being crucial. Babies begin to move their hands deliberately, toddlers demonstrate more skilful control, and preschoolers refine these skills further.

Games and activities enhancing fine motor skills

  • Drawing and colouring: Use of pencils, colours and other art tools refine fine motor skills and enhance hand movement control.
  • Solving the puzzle is another effective tool to refine fine motor skills and solve problems. Choose a puzzle wisely, taking into account the child’s age.

Educational toys refining fine motor skills

Educational toys serve as both sources of entertainment and tools for enhancing fine motor skills in children.

Construction sets and puzzle

Building sets and puzzles are excellent for strengthening fine motor skills. Building pieces, connecting cubes or solving puzzles require accuracy and movement coordination. Construction sets offer various shapes and colours, simulating motor skills and fostering artistic thinking.

Drawing and colouring

Painting and colouring educational toys are perfect for refining fine motor skills. Colour pencils, markers, and colours allow children to control their movements precisely and refine their hand movements. Besides, colouring supports creativity and speech development.

Colour and shape recognition

Toys that promote colour and shape recognition provide entertaining and educational experiences. By presenting challenges in identifying colours and shapes, these toys offer children opportunities to practice fine motor skills while enhancing cognitive abilities.

It's essential to consider every stage of gross and fine motor skills development in a child's growth journey. Avoid imposing pressure on children to prevent negative feelings and instead focus on providing positive support throughout their developmental milestones.


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