When you think of your child starting kindergarten, you likely think about children holding a pencil correctly to properly write their name, or drawing a picture with crayons, or painting on an easel. These all require fine motor skills.
After more than 20 years as a kindergarten teacher at The Peck School, I would argue gross motor skills are actually more important because they help promote a child’s fine motor skills and also set a child up for success in school.
What are gross motor skills? Gross motor skills are movements that use large body muscles that a child makes with their arms, legs, feet, or entire body, such as crawling, running, hopping, skipping, and jumping. Even something as simple as standing, walking, and sitting up straight are examples of gross motor skill development.
Gross motor skills are important in children’s everyday lives. Whether it is independently getting dressed, climbing on a playground, or riding a bike, gross motor skills can provide benefits when a child enters a classroom. Without adequate gross motor skills, a child may not be able to physically sit up straight, or hold their body upright to sit at a desk and write.
So how do we strengthen core muscles to improve gross motor skills? The key is physical activity. Here are four ways you can help foster these skills in your child: