7 Ways to Develop Gross Motor Skills Through Movement


By Mariel Uyquiengco

Parents often dread the time that their sweet, darling baby starts to crawl or walk or run.  They wish their kids would just sit in one corner and watch the world go by. It’s tiring to be always fearful of an accident waiting-to-happen, right?  Sadly for parents, kids are not built that way. “Movement is the key to learning” is one of the important concepts in early childhood that parents must take note of. Children are made to use their bodies to discover the world! It is important to support the development of children’s gross motor skills.

Gross motor skills involve large movements such as crawling, sitting, walking, running, and jumping. At two years old, toddlers can already run quite competently, walk up to three steps on the stairs without holding on, jump up with two feet off the ground, stand on one foot to kick a ball with the other, and throw or catch a ball from a sitting position.

Toddlers can benefit in activities intended to stimulate or support the development of their gross motor skills and help improve their balance and coordination. Here are some ideas:

Play on the swing

Playing on the swing has benefits other than just being fun. As the swing moves, a child learns how to adjust his balance. Just make sure that your child is safely fastened!

Get him a balance bike

When getting a first bike for your child, consider getting a balance bike. It’s a ride-on bike that doesn’t have pedals and training wheels. A child just pushes it with his legs as he zooms about. It supposedly helps children transition to regular bikes with pedals more easily.

Play jumping games

Kids love to jump, and that’s a fact. They love it even more when their parents are playing with him. Set up hurdles for you and your child to jump over to practice jumping higher. This can be a line of wooden blocks that you can increase in height.

Get rid of the stroller

One of the most basic things that you can do to make your child walk and run well is to get rid of the stroller. Let him walk instead of strapping him in his stroller and pushing him around. Muscles need to work in order to be strong.

Play movement games

Be creative and engage your child in movement games. Play soldiers and march around, turning right, left, right, left, right! Or ask him to face you and copy what you’re doing as you wave, kick, hop, or crawl.

Walk on a log

Encourage your child’s balance by setting up a low balance beam. It can be a log or a line of bricks. While out walking, let him walk on the edge of the sidewalk to practice. A line of masking tape on the floor will also serve the same purpose!

Ask him to pick up his toys

Asking a child to pick up his toys is multi-purpose. It gives him a goal-oriented task and at the same time lets him use his whole body. When picking up a toy, he has to walk over it, bend down, straighten up, and walk to the storage area.

Parents, let your toddlers move! Celebrate their growing gross motor skills and encourage them to be stronger and more independent. Keeping them from moving will just be detrimental to their overall development.


Mariel Uyquiengco hopes to inspire parents to be their children’s first and best teacher. She does this through her blog and online children’s book shopwww.thelearningbasket.com and by giving parenting seminars about early childhood development, preschool homeschool, and raising children to be readers.


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