It is always a very overwhelming feeling to see your child growing and learning new skills and activities. Among the most important child development milestones are motor skills. Well, let’s have a look on what Motor skills really are? Motor skills are any action or function that’s involve your baby’s muscles in order to do a specific work/act. Both gross and fine motor skills are very vital for a child’s development, especially in getting independent, doing different tasks, playing games and also helps your little one in development of his/her cognitive skills (construction of thinking processes like solving different tasks, remembering things and making decisions accordingly).
There are two types of motor skills, i.e., Gross Motor and Fine Motor Skills. Let’s have a quick look on Gross Motor Skills first…
GROSS MOTOR SKILLS: Skills that involve large muscles in order to do coordination and movements are called gross motor skills. These muscles are arm and leg muscles along with Torso (Muscles of chest and abdomen) and neck muscles. Gross motor skills involve big movements like rolling/turning on sides, sitting, crawling, walking, running and swimming etc., It is very important for us as a parent to know about how Gross Motor Skills develop and when, so that we know about how our baby is growing and achieving all his/her milestones. Babies do get control of their Muscles in an order and that is from top to bottom.
At nearly 4 months of age: baby can support his/her body when lying on tummy and can raise his/her head with the support of elbows. Then they started to roll on their sides and can do rapid arm and leg movements like kicking. At 5-12 months: babies started to support their body while sitting with supper and then without support afterwards, followed by crawling and walking from 9 months of age to 12 months. Some babies do start walking when they reach about 15-18 months and that’s absolutely fine. As they grow up they will start performing multiple tasks at the same time.
To boost your little ones Gross Motor Skills, the best thing we should do is to enrol our kids for swimming classes and sports club of their choice at school or nearest gym. If you can manage time, take them to the nearest park and play football, or just catch the ball or any game that involves running and moving. This will not only boost their gross motor skills but also their overall mental and physical health.
FINE MOTOR SKILLS: Fine motor skills means activities done by using small movements of the hands, fingers, wrists, feet and also toes along with eyes and tongue. It’s not only about using small muscles and performing small activities, actually these small activities are the essential skills we need to lead our life with full independence and confidence. These everyday activities are taking care of self hygiene like brushing teeth, cleaning, changing clothes and buttoning and zipping your jacket and tying shoe laces. At meal time holding cutlery and feeding themselves, holding stationeries to write, colour, paint or to hold scissors and countless other activities including crafts. These activities seem small but these are our most important skills to build self-esteem and confidence especially during academic years.
Children usually develop control on their hands and try to touch things by hand after 2 months of age approx. as they grow older, their grip and hand & eye coordination improves, by the time they turn 5 months, the can able to touch and try to hold on things. By 10 months of age, they can hold on to things they like e.g colourful toys and balls and other things around. As, they grow, soon they will be holding and throwing things as well and will able to play with construction blocks, stacking toys and enjoying and turning pages of their board books and can hold pencils and markers and paint brushes to draw and paint their imaginations and thought and whatever is in their tiny but rapidly growing mind and every little one’s favourite, play dough. To boost their fine motor skills, always encourage them to paint, draw or write or to play whatever they want. Always encourage them and appreciate them. Don’t expect too much from your child if he/she is taking time in learning as every child is different. My daughter Kija take time to learn and understand things while Abraham is a fast learner but both are doing pretty well in their own pace.
DON’T EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM YOUR CHILD AT A VERY EARLY AGE, EVERY CHILD IS LIKE A BEAUTIFUL FLOWER AND BLOSSOMS WHEN HIS/HER TIME COMES.
I hope you like this quick and brief glance on motor skills in a child. In my forthcoming articles, I will be explaining fine and gross motor skills separately in detail along with easy and simple activities which your can do at home with your little one in order to boost their motor skills. Do participate and enjoy this learning process with your little one, soon they will be grown up big kids, so spend a lot of time playing together to build not only a typical parent-child relationship but also a loving and friendly bond.