Toddlers might know how to crawl and walk, but that doesn’t mean all their gross motor skills have been developed. There are still plenty of things you can do to improve their larger movements, from hopping and skipping to kicking a ball.
Here are some tips on how you can help your child develop their gross motor skills to get them moving about in no time.
Jumping on a trampoline is not just for older children and adults, as you can now book on to baby trampoline classes in Shrewsbury, enabling your little one to enjoy the thrill of bouncing up and down in the air too.
This will help develop their jumping skills, improving the muscle tone in their legs and making them stronger. By being able to clamber through foam pits, have fun with large soft equipment and climb walls, they will use their bodies in ways they never have before. What’s more, it will encourage their love for being active, which will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.
If the weather is not too cold or rainy, take your children to the playground. As well as being immensely fun for little ones, they are packed with equipment to develop their movement skills.
For instance, instead of pushing them on a swing, you can teach them how to bend and kick their legs to move it themselves. They could also learn how to make their way up a climbing frame, swing from monkey bars, and propel themselves into the air on a seesaw by bending their legs and pushing their feet on the floor as they land.
They are also sure to develop their balancing, agility, problem-solving and physical abilities at a playground through the different apparatus, not to mention their social skills from being around and playing with other children their own age.
‘Simon Says’ is a great game to play for many reasons – it can be done both indoors or out, it is free, requires no equipment, and kids absolutely love it.
Command the attention of your child – and even their friends – by giving them some instructions by saying ‘Simon Says’ first, and see who you can catch out!
If your demands include physical activities, such as hopping on the spot, touching their toes, or balancing on one leg, then you will be able to develop their motor skills without them even realising!
Ride along toys
Ride along toys are great for teaching little ones to co-ordinate their movement, whether you get them a scooter, tricycle, balance bike or a simple shape on wheels they can sit on and shuffle along with their feet.
This helps them learn how to use certain muscle groups in order to get their vehicle to move the way they want, while also teaching them about braking, controlling their speed and steering through corners.
All you need for this fun game is a chalk so you can draw hopscotch on your patio. This is great at teaching how to do different skills, including jumping, balancing on one leg, and hopping. They will have to control their movements in order to reach the top without hobbling over.
They can spend ages trying to master this game during the spring and summer, and will love playing this with their friends or siblings.
Another game that you can easily set up in your garden or even your living room is an obstacle course.
You could put little obstacles out that they have to run around, set up furniture or slides they have to climb, put uneven surfaces down they have to jump over, and get a couple of hula hoops they have to twist through. They will love this fun game, and the best part is it can always be adapted to keep them interested.
You don’t have to be a master at football or basketball to encourage your children to play ball games. You could simply teach them how to roll, catch, kick or throw balls of different weights and sizes.
Make it fun by telling them to aim at a hoop, bowl some skittles over, do it to music, or try to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible.
This will help develop their hand-eye co-ordination, their upper and lower body strength, and their control. You could even make a goal yourself out of a cardboard box, and get them to throw or kick it at the target to give them something exciting to aim at.