As the weather gets cooler, it is a great opportunity to get outside. There is so much learning that can occur out in nature. Gross motor development is an essential part of your child’s development.
When children are very young, we focus on their gross motor development. Parents get so excited to watch their child roll over, sit up, crawl and walk. But, gross motor development does not end there. Children progress from walking, running, jumping, hopping and so much more. They need to launch off alternating feet to skip, gallop and hop.
Children need to continue to work on their trunk development. Working on core muscles of back, abs, shoulders and more assist in the stabilization of movements. As children grow they need to strengthen their larger muscles before they are able to develop and strengthen their smaller muscles.
Another little known developmental skill is crossing the midline. Children will need to be able to cross from left to right/right to left as well as top to bottom without rotating their whole body. This skill is essential for learning to correctly print letters and numbers.
So what can you do? Get out and play! Play hopscotch. Practice climbing up and down playground ladders. Pass objects around and behind. Practice pumping a swing (remind them to use their arms to pull and their legs to pump). Go for a hike. Pedal a bike, tricycle or other ride on toys. Play catch. Play frisbee. Kick a ball. All this is learning. All this development. All this is purposeful play!