Gross motor skills are what gives us the ability to walk, lift things, and go about every day physical tasks. As a child we built these skills by climbing trees, riding bikes, jumping rope, building forts, and Gasp doing all manner of things that would make our grown selves cringe.
No I don’t expect you to set your child free in the woods to do what we did as children. That would be the fast track to loosing them in today’s helicopter society. In fact if I had to guess many of you are cringing at the above photo of my son wielding a very real (and very light) hammer. As parents we have plenty of things we can do to help our children build gross motor skills.
That photo there is from our Pumpkin Patch Party from Mother Goose Time last week. an activity called pounding pumpkins that involved hammering golf tees into pumpkins. My son Lived the activity and promptly began to just beat the pumpkin with the hammer once the activity was over. By the time he was done the pumpkin was a pile of pulp similar to spaghetti squash. (Did you know beating a pumpkin makes noodles?)
We often use gross motor skills to teach basic subjects. Some chalk can become a great way to teach basic math in a fun active way perfect for building gross motor skills and helping active or ADHD children cover otherwise challenging subjects.
Fun extra curricular activities like sports and dance are a great way to build gross motor skills in a safe controlled environment. Sometimes the trick is to just enjoy time with your child throwing a ball int he yard or learning to ride a bike.
Building gross motor skills will help your child thrive in the physical labors life demands despite the physically limited turn our society has turned to.