• Gross Motor Skills


    Gross Motor Skills

    What are gross motor skills?

    Gross motor (physical) skills are those which require whole body movement and which involve the large (core stabilising) muscles of the body to perform everyday functions, such as standing and walking, running and jumping, and sitting upright at the table. They also includes eye-hand coordination skills such as ball skills (throwing, catching, kicking) as well as riding a bike or a scooter and swimming.


    Why are gross motor skills important?

    Gross motor skills are important to enable children to perform every day functions, such as walking and running, playground skills (e.g. climbing) and sporting skills (e.g. catching, throwing and hitting a ball with a bat). However, these are crucial for everyday self care skills like dressing (where you need to be able to stand on one leg to put your leg into a pant leg without falling over) and climbing into and out of a car or even getting into and out of bed.

    Gross motor abilities also have an influence on other everyday functions. For example, a child’s ability to maintain appropriate table top posture (upper body support) will affect their ability to participate in fine motor skills (e.g. writing, drawing and cutting) and sitting upright to attend to class instruction, which then impacts on their academic learning. Gross motor skills impact on your endurance to cope with a full day of school (sitting upright at a desk, moving between classrooms, carrying your heavy school bag). They also impacts your ability to navigate your environment (e.g. walking around classroom items such as a desk, up a sloped playground hill or to get on and off a moving escalator).  Without fair gross motor skills, a child will struggle with many day to day tasks such as a eating, packing away their toys, and getting onto and off the toilet or potty.

    Between 5-7 years, your child will:

    • Enjoy participating in team games
    • Develop ball skills with smaller ball
    • Enhance game skills like hopscotch and jump rope
    • Ride a two wheeler bike
    • Run up and down the stairs

    Children in middle childhood will be able to swim, roller skate, ice skate, jump rope, scale fences, use a saw, hammer and garden tools and play a variety of sports. Kick ball, team relay races and dodge ball are great activities.

    Children in adolescence will develop increased coordination and motor ability together with greater physical strength and prolonged endurance. They are able to develop better distance judgment and hand-eye coordination. They are able to master the skills necessary for adult sports, with practice.

    Red flags for Gross Motor Development (6-19)

    If you notice the following you may want to talk to you physician or health professional or make a referral yourself:

    • Your child is not doing what he/she should do for his age
    • Child walks funny
    • Child walks on his toes all the time
    • There seems to be something wrong with the child’s legs or feet
    • Child complains of persistant pain or fatigue
    • Gross Motor skills are regressing
    • Child is excessively clumsy









    Information from:

    http://www.kamloopschildrenstherapy.org/school-aged-gross-motor-milestones  &  https://childdevelopment.com.au/areas-of-concern/gross-motor-skills/