Gross Motor Skills & Spatial Awareness

Hello, Mommies and Daddies!

Sharing with you this week about:
Gross Motor Skills, & Spatial Awareness

Messy /Sensory Play isn’t all fine motor skills (though isn’t it awesome how our little ones develop these skills through having fun?)!

Did you observe how our kids dance in the middle of play, or when they presented with some paper taped up to the wall, they stretch out their arms to paint great, big strokes? Or when they chase bubbles with glee?
These are all examples of gross motor skills at work. Without knowing it, they learn to balance better, coordinate movement, become more aware of their bodies (yes, your arm’s length will sometimes extend to your playmate’s nose), and with repeated movement, become stronger.

Of course, their gross motor skills further develop when they play outdoors, or in wide, open spaces that really encourage movement, but recognizing this, even when not in a setting intentional for gross motor work, is part of understanding play, and that even in simple, everyday movement, our little ones further grow and develop.

Bubbles! This is our favorite example of spatial awareness work. When our little ones observe the bubbles, and reach out for them, they make repeated, deliberate movements to reach for something they see, and becoming more aware of their bodies in relation to objects around them (i.e. knowing that extending their arm that specific length will allow them to reach the bubble) allows them to further develop spatial awareness, which as they grow, will allow them to move with ease, confidence,
and deliberateness.

Some tips to integrate a little bit more gross motor into your play at home would be to maybe move play off the floor. Use your walls for painting or even posting activities (there are lot’s of DIY ball runs online), a small basketball hoop can also be another option. For 2 part activities, say a toy wash, have 2 bins spaced a bit apart to encourage them to move around more. This provides the opportunity to make them stand, squat, reach, go around. Ball passing and then later on playing catch is also a great activity. For little babes, try rolling the ball to them on a mat, as they grow you can throw and catch short distances and you can adjust how you play as they advance in their skills. House chores (sweeping, carrying laundry) and gardening (watering plants, digging and even weeding!) is also another! Lot’s of possibilities in and outside of home.

We hope we were able to share more about understanding gross motor skills and how play helps to develop this skill! Let us know how you like to practice gross motor skills with your little one.

Sharlyn & Marielle

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