Child Development: Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills are those which require whole body movement and which involve the large muscles of the body to perform everyday functions, such as standing and walking. These skills are what help you get out of bed and downstairs for breakfast, while fine motor skills help you eat cereal with a spoon without spilling.

Milestones of Gross Motor Skills

It’s helpful to understand how motor skills progress so you have some sense of whether your child is on track. Knowing the general timeline of childhood milestones can let you know what might be coming next! Click To Tweet Keep in mind that each child is different, but if you know that kids generally sit up after they’ve learned to roll over, then you’ll have a better idea of how your child is developing.

3 – 6 Months

At around 4 months, babies typically support their own body when placed on their stomachs. They should also be able to hold up their head. Soon after, they may rock on their stomach, kick their legs and swing their arms, figuring out how to roll over.

6 – 12 Months

By 6 months or so, most babies start to figure out how to use the muscles in their core to sit up. Somewhere between 7 and 10 months, they may begin to crawl. Closer to 1 year, they may be able to hold themselves up in the standing position, holding you or a piece of furniture for assistance.

1 – 2 Years

This is a very important time for gross motor skill development. Children between 1 and 2 years of age should be able to walk well without assistance, squat to pick something up without falling and walk up and down stairs with minimal assistance.

2 – 3 Years

At this age, children can walk, run and jump with both feet. They can kick a ball and run to retrieve it.  When a large ball is thrown at them they can often catch it.

3 – 4 Years

Pre-kindergarten age children will find that running and jumping give way to hopping, skipping and riding a tricycle. Basic tumbling, like somersaults and rolls, are easily done.  When you put your child in a swing they can properly pump their legs.

4 – 5 Years

This is the age when gross motor skills can be specialized, aiding children as they learn new sports, games, and skills. This is often the age when kids learn how to swim. These skills will be what allows them to play new sports in school, and learn how to refine the skills they already have.

Developing Your Child’s Gross Motor Skills

It’s easy to help your child develop their gross motor skills. Playing a game of hopscotch, swinging at the park or balancing on a playground balance beam all help your child gain confidence. Enrichment activities like music classes or gardening can further help your child develop.

Contact Us to learn more about how important gross and fine motor skills are to your child’s success.