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More gross motor skills to get your child ready for school

Gross motor skills pertain to skills involving large muscle movements, such as independent sitting, crawling, walking, or running.

1. Drawing, colouring and cutting

While these are all technically fine motor skills using your hands, the large muscles of the shoulders, arms and trunk need to provide strength and stability.

You can help build strength and stability in the large muscles of the upper body:

  • Playing active games

  • Tossing balls

  • Climbing up the slide

  • Bunny hops on one leg

  • Scavenger hunts

2. Writing vertically on a blackboard or on big pieces of paper, rolling and then throwing balls and catching.

You can help to develop shoulders and arms by:

  • Climbing trees, or rope ladders

  • Playing balloon volleyball

  • Crab walking – on all fours, use alternate sides of the body

3. When writing, eyes and hands have to work together so that the eyes can guide the placement of the pencil or crayon.

You can help with eye-hand coordination activities that will develop these skills:

  • Kicking or catching a ball

  • Building with blocks

  • Batting at a balloon

  • Catching a piece of falling paper

4.To be able to properly space words on a page, a child needs to develop good spatial perception and planning.

You can help by:

  • Playing games of hide and seek. This game teaches size and space – Can I fit behind the door? Can my stuffed animal fit under the book?

  • Simple jigsaw puzzles

  • Kicking balls

  • Stand like a flamingo – Try using a chair for balance to start

5. Learning to read requires the child to focus and to be able to track the line of print – another form of eye hand coordination.

You can help develop these skills by playing:

  • Bean bag toss ( try making your own with yogurt containers and candy!)

  • Egg and spoon races or potato and spoon races

  • “Wheelbarrow” races – child walks on hands while adult hold legs up

For all round fun make a version of the Twister game

  • Stick coloured shapes to the floor and ask your child to walk or jump to a specific colour or shape

  • Balance on one foot on a particular shape

  • Throw a bean bag or place a little toy onto a particular

  • Count the shapes or the colours

Did you know that March 16th is National Purple Day? Cut out shapes of purple paper and start the hunt! (Math + colours + gross motor = lots of fun and learning!)


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