What are motor skills in children
- 19 Jan 2023
- Sublime Nursing
Children grow and develop fast during their toddler years. They start exploring their world more independently. Their coordination improves, and they begin doing more things for themselves. There are many ways in which you can help your toddler develop both their fine and gross motor (movement) skills. What are motor skills? Developing motor skills in children is important because it helps them to move and manipulate their environment, which is necessary for their physical, cognitive, and social development.
Motor skills also help children to develop coordination, balance, and strength, which are important for overall health and well-being. Children develop 2 types of motor (movement) skills:
A) fine motor skills involve using your hands and fingers to control small objects by using the small muscles in the hands and fingers so your child can hold, grasp, grip and pinch. The examples are buttoning up a shirt or holding a pencil correctly or putting on shoes.
B) gross motor skills Gross motor skills involve using the large muscles in your body to make large movements in their arms, legs, and torso, such as: crawling, jumping, running and throwing.
It’s normal for children to take different amounts of time to reach different milestones. However, if you feel like your child's motor skills aren't developing well, seek advice. See your doctor or child health nurse if your 2 or 3-year-old:
1) can't run
2) can't walk up and down stairs, even with help
3) has difficulty using small objects, like a crayon
4) doesn't scribble or try to draw
5) loses the physical skills they had before Children may also have difficulty with fine motor skills such as writing, cutting with scissors, or buttoning clothing.
Other signs can include clumsiness, poor balance, and difficulty with coordination.
There are several ways to help a child with a lack of motor skills:
1) Encourage physical activity: Encourage the child to engage in physical activities that are appropriate for their age and development level, such as crawling, walking, running, jumping, climbing, and playing with balls.
2) Provide opportunities for practice: Provide opportunities for the child to practice their motor skills in a safe and supportive environment. For example, give them toys and games that encourage fine motor skill development, such as building blocks, puzzles, and crayons.
3) Consult with a professional: Consult with a pediatrician, occupational therapist, or physical therapist to determine the cause of the child's motor skill difficulties and to develop an appropriate treatment plan.
4) Adapt the environment: Make changes to the child's environment to support their motor skill development, such as providing ramps instead of stairs, or larger handles on doors and drawers to make them easier to open and close.
5) Provide Positive reinforcement: Praise the child for their efforts and progress, rather than focusing on their mistakes. This helps to build their confidence and self-esteem, which can be especially important for children with motor skill difficulties. I
t's important to note that each child is unique, and the specific steps needed to help a child with a lack of motor skills will depend on the child's individual needs and abilities. It's important to work with professionals and follow a personalized plan to help the child.