“There is no one giant step that does it, its a lot of little steps”: Gross motor

Do you ever think about why the game period in our childhood is so important part of the curriculum? Do you ever think about why we encourage our children to play outside games?

Do you ever think why the skills sometimes we develop on our own or sometimes try to make our child learn GROSS MOTOR SKILLS, why it’s so important!

Let’s learn!

Standing, Running, jumping, walking, hopping, skipping, kicking they all bunch up to form a“ Gross Motor Skills “.

As children grow older, their muscles become larger and stronger, allowing them to perform more complex physical movements such as climbing playground equipment, riding a bike, swimming at the beach, and playing catch with friends.

Imagine a milestone of crawling that can lead to stronger and complex activity of body which we sum it as gross motor skills. With each new milestone, a child’s body reaches the physical ability to perform certain tasks.

“Each step matters and transforms into big steps “!

These skills generally evolve with repetition and practice as a child matures, thus making it vital that children have experience in situations that enable them to move freely and explore their body’s physical capabilities. Gross motor skills affect the core areas of the body that are responsible for functions such as hand-eye coordination (involving catching, throwing, etc), walking, running, skipping, sitting, and standing. As is evident, these movements are essential in the physical development of children, as they are commonly involved in everyday functioning, such as basic self-care skills such as dressing one’s self, or posture and upper body support. “

Gross motor skills are the subset of all the milestones achieved from the prenatal period to 3 years of age”! Gross motor skills also directly influence fine motor skills (e.g. adequate upper body support strength can affect the ability to sit upright at a table or carrying a school bag), and is elemental for children to optimally perform and engage at school, home or other social and recreational activities.

Gross motor skills development is governed by two postulates that involve physical growth, development of trunk core strengthen muscles. Head control is gained first, followed by the shoulders, upper arms, and hands. Upper body control is developed next, followed by the hips, pelvis, and legs. “Trees without roots are a piece of wood”! Which clearly says that a child with improper gross development cause impedes in the growth.

Stimulating the development of gross motor abilities is considerably less complicated than developing fine motor skills. Helping a child succeed in gross motor tasks requires patience and opportunities for a child to practice desired skills. 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 pace.

By encouraging your child to participate in different gross motor activities, you are providing them with an opportunity to practice using their muscles. This is particularly important for children who don’t like physical activity and prefer sit-down activities such as arts and crafts. Often children with weaker gross motor abilities avoid physical activity, which provides them fewer opportunities to catch up on the skills of their peers.

Gross motor in toddlerhood

By the age of two years, children have begun to develop a variety of gross motor skills. They can run walk hop by putting both feet on each step before going on to the next one Most infants this age climb (some very actively) and have a rudimentary ability to kick and throw a ball. By the age of three, children walk with good posture and without watching their feet. They can also walk backward and run with enough control for sudden stops or changes in direction. Other achievements include riding a tricycle and throwing a ball, although they have trouble catching it because they hold their arms out in front of their bodies no matter what direction the ball comes from.


Four-year-olds can typically balance or hop on one foot, jump forward and backward over objects, and climb and descend stairs alternating feet. They can bounce and catch balls and throw accurately.  Simple yet complex activities are developing at this age. Some four-year-olds can also skip. Children this age have gained an increased degree of self-consciousness about their motor activities that lead to increased feelings of pride and success when they master a new skill. However, it can also create feelings of inadequacy when they think they have failed.

The school helps in building Gross Motor Skills

School-age children, who are not going through the rapid, unsettling growth spurts of early childhood or adolescence, are quite skilled at controlling their bodies and are generally good at a wide variety of physical activities, although the ability varies according to the level of maturation and the physique of a child.

Sports period !PT Period , Games Period are the reasons for many reinforcements given by teachers to the students.   Motor skills are mostly equal in boys and girls at this stage, except that boys have more forearm strength and girls have greater flexibility. Five-year-olds can skip, jump rope, catch a bounced ball, walk on their tiptoes, balance on one foot for over eight seconds, and engage in beginning acrobatics. Many can even ride a small two-wheel bicycle. Eight- and nine-year-olds typically can ride a bicycle, swim, roller skate, ice skate, jump rope, scale fences, use a saw, hammer, and garden tools, and play a variety of sports. However, many of the sports prized by adults, often scaled down for play by children, require higher levels of distance judgment and hand-eye coordination, as well as quicker reaction times, than are reasonable for middle childhood. Games that are well suited to the motor skills of elementary school-age children include kickball, dodge ball, and team relay races.

When children do not have well-developed gross motor skills, this can result in:

  • poor concentration in class
  • poor body-awareness and control
  • difficulty writing
  • Difficulty in understanding, visualizing
  • difficulty sitting at a desk
  • poor posture, balance, and coordination
  • avoidance of sports and physical activities
  • Unusual performance of physical task they find challenging
  • Assertiveness in telling others how to do the physical task or play the game without actively engaging themselves
  • Socially deprived
  • uncoordinated movements which interfere with play skills
  • Low physical activity level
  • Poor endurance when engaging in sports or physical tasks
  • Poor posture when sitting at a table

These are the gross motor milestones that generally children achieved at this stage  Each baby is unique and grows at his/her own rate. That is why there is a wide variety of “normal” in development. Although this is a gradual, individualized process, most babies do go through a series of developmental milestones around certain ages.

The purpose of this checklist is to provide a reference to help guide you through your child’s development and what to expect at certain stages.this is a standardized checklist which you can check but the pace of development of each child is different but if you feel that your child is delayed than normal rate kindly refer to a practitioner

The earliest intervention possible offers the highest response and success rate among children with special needs. Parents should keep in mind that children develop at different rates and try to focus on the skills their children have mastered instead of those they may have yet to master. Don’t compare one child to another as I have mentioned in my earlier post all children are not the same! Still, there are certain signs that may point to a problem, and these should be discussed with a pediatrician or physician. These signs include not walking by 15 months of age, not walking maturely (heel to toe) after walking for several months, walking only on the toes, and not being able to push a toy on wheels by age two.

Toddlers may begin to prefer one hand to the other, the first sign of right- or left-handedness, or to use both hands equally. This preference should be allowed to develop naturally. Parents should call a doctor if the child does not seem to use one hand at all or has a strong hand preference before he or she is one year old.

“Every child is a different kind of flower, nurtures them, cherishes them, and shelter them according to their needs and requirements”!

Happy learning!

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