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What are gross motor skills?

At Inspire Ability our Occupational Therapists are experts in helping your child develop gross motor skills, so they can thrive while they learn, play and live. These skills are integral to tasks that require whole body movements like running, jumping, dancing and sitting upright and developmental delays can pose a huge barrier in school and at home. 

What are gross motor skills?

To put it simply, these skills involve using the large, core stabilising muscles of the body to control the movements of the arms, legs, and torso. Gross motor skills are crucial for performing everyday tasks like walking to school, playing sports or even putting on pants in the morning, so when these skills are underdeveloped, the child's interaction with the world around them is affected.

 

Why are gross motor skills important?

Delays in the development of gross motor skills can have a huge influence on a child's everyday functions, causing them stress and frustration when they struggle with tasks that their peers have mastered. The child may face difficulties navigating their environment, like when walking around a busy classroom and find themselves constantly exhausted after a big day at school. As a result of this challenge, their desire to complete daily tasks may drop, creating a barrier to their participation in group activities, establishment of a self-care routine and their learning.

How can I help my child develop their fine motor skills?

At Inspire Ability we LOVE integrating creativity into our sessions so that our clients can develop their gross motor skills in a fun and engaging way... and you can do this too! By practicing these skills our clients can gain confidence and boost their ability to play, live and learn. These are just a few of the activities we do in our sessions:

  • Interpretive dancing with a ribbon stick
  • Playing soccer and kicking the ball around obstacles
  • Sitting on a peanut ball and using a squeeze ball to play throw and catch
  • Laying on a scooter board and propelling yourself across the room
  • Laying out a length of bubble wrap and rolling across it
  • Wriggling back and forth through a pop-up tunnel 
  • Playing hop scotch (we love doing this with our liquid sensory tiles)
  • Making some music by playing the drums, dancing with a rainstick or shaking a tambourine
  • Practicing martial arts with a YouTube class by DojoGo!

Need more advice? Chat to an Occupational Therapist at Inspire Ability about resources and activities you can integrate into your child's daily lives to help them develop their gross motor skills.

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