One of the first questions many parents ask during the early years of parenthood is how to develop their child, such that they are primed for pre-school and education beyond. Apart from developing their mental faculties and cognitive abilities, something that parents should never ignore is that of fine and gross motor skills. Developing gross motor skills will help a child improve aspects like balance, co-ordination, strength, and agility. Developing fine motor skills involves more functional aspects such as using one’s hands to perform subtle tasks like tying shoelaces, using keys, or completing puzzles.
GROSS MOTOR SKILL DEVELOPMENT
Building an infant’s gross motor skills is vastly different than training them in adults. Young children are not ready to perform intensive tasks like lifting weights. Consequently, the tasks they perform should challenge their current physical levels. Pre-school is an important time for children in relation to developing such skills. Encouraging children to paint or draw on large canvases is one way to aid the process while also spurring on creativity. Another popular and effective method for training gross motor skills is pre-school karate classes.
Other activities that you should encourage your child to include jumping, dancing, and skipping. The playground is one of the best places to help your child exercise and develop these skills. As a parent, it is absolutely crucial to schedule visits to the park or playground with your children so that they get the outdoor exposure, social interactions, and supervised play opportunities they require.
FINE MOTOR SKILL DEVELOPMENT
Developing fine motor skills is slightly different. These skills can be developed in the comfort of a pre-school and even at home. Activities like playing with play dough, assembling Mega-Blocks or Legos, and making simple arts and crafts can do wonders in developing a child’s fine motor skills. One of the most important things to remember is to encourage your child to use both hands equally when performing these activities, so as to avoid unequal development. Another fantastic way to help children improve their fine motor skills is to encourage them to take up an instrument. Even if they are just toying around on a piano or a guitar, this will vastly increase their finger strength and coordination.
There are several ways in which parents can assist their children to improve their fine and gross motor skills. However, what is important to keep in mind is to be as creative as possible with these activities. If a child becomes bored of a particular activity, it may be wise to try another one, to avoid limiting their physical development.