When your child starts school or nursery, they’ll be learning to read and write, listen, interpret instructions, socialise and lots more. As parents you’ll also become aware of terms such as gross or fine motor skills and whether your child needs more or less help to develop these.
At The Little Gym, not only do our classes involve a lot of fun; they also provide children with the tools they need to succeed at school. Strong gross motor skills lead to improvements in fine motor skills such as holding a pencil or cutlery, doing up buttons and tying laces – all things we take for granted as adults.
WHAT ARE GROSS MOTOR SKILLS?
Gross motor skills involve the movements of the large muscles of the arms, legs and body. Children use their gross motor skills to complete everyday activities such as running, jumping, climbing, rolling and swinging. Gross motor skills also form the basis for fine motor skills, all essential in a child’s development.
WHY ARE GROSS MOTOR SKILLS IMPORTANT?
Gross motor skills are important for your child’s development and wellbeing. They control balance and coordination and increase body awareness, physical strength and reaction time. All of these things working together lead to better fine motor skills as well as a child’s ability to sit still, focus and concentrate during lessons. Research has showed that gross motor skills are also linked to brain development. It’s why our learning at The Little Gym is based on a philosophy of Three-Dimensional Learning: Brain Boost, Get Moving and Life Skills.
Developing all of these will help a child feel confident approaching new tasks, something they’ll be faced with a lot at the start of their educational journey!
#5 GROSS MOTOR SKILLS ACTIVITIES WHICH WE LOVE AT THE LITTLE GYM
We’re blessed with fantastic gymnastics equipment and we love putting them together to create little courses that test different skills. The children won’t notice that the low bars work their core or that hopping through hoops improves their stability.
Hopping and jumping
These skills require strong gross motor skills, balance and coordination. We can jump from side to side, over a rope, into hoops, off mats and eventually learn to dismount from the beam.
Have you ever noticed how children love walking along things, like curbs or lines in the pavement? Learning to walk along the beam requires coordination and balance but, incredibly, also connects the same neural pathways required for good reading skills!
Children love these and they’re great for physical development as where they fall is quite unpredictable. Children will chase them by running, zigzagging and jumping which requires sudden changes in direction and therefore balance and weight. An added bonus is the requirement to coordinate hand and eye movements to pop the bubbles when you catch up with them.
Whether children hang from our bars in the gym or pretend to be monkeys swinging from the bars in the park, this fun activity develops gross motor skills by developing the upper body. This eventually leads to finer motor skills such as the ability to use knives and forks and hold pens and pencils.
The Little Gym offers classes from four months to 12 years. To find The Little Gym nearest you head to www.thelittlegym.eu and to have a taste of what our classes may look like feel free to watch some of our videos at www.youtube.com/thelittlegymuk