Your little one’s physical development is divided in gross and fine motor skills. The first involves big muscles and large body movements like running, climbing, and jumping. Fine motor skills involve small muscles and precise movements; manipulating objects, coloring, or cutting are some activities in which your child promotes his fine motor development.
Physical milestones are more noticeable when your child starts crawling, scribbling, and walking; but ever since he was born, he’s been on the path of conquering multiple motor milestones. His big muscles allowed him to support his own head, sit down, roll over and soon enough crawl everywhere. As he gained large muscle control over his arms, he was able to use smaller muscles to reach for objects, manipulate small toys, and, later, grab a crayon.
Your child’s growing dexterity and hand control depend on the strength of his big muscles as well. The coordinated efforts of the brain and muscles are built on the gross motor skills and allow him to make bigger movements. Core strength is essential so he one can sit on a kids table and play with his crayons. Posture control is needed for him to move his hands and fingers when he draws or flips through book pages. It’s all connected! His strong motor skills will also reflect on his self-care abilities as he opens his lunchbox, pulls up his pants, buttons his shirt, learns to use the toilet, etc. It will also influence cognitive processes like concentration, attention, and memory when performing a task.
It doesn’t matter in which developmental stage your son is, it’s important to help him build a strong muscle foundation for the future. During play time try to involve his big muscles with exercises such as rolling and sitting, crawling around, playing ball, jumping, and chasing each other. A daily dose of active movement will develop his balance, coordination, body awareness, postural control, and strength. It will also form the basis for the precise movements needed for holding a crayon, stacking blocks, scribbling, and working with zippers.
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