Motor skills are intentional and voluntary movements carried out by our bodies. For these movements to happen correctly, the brain, the nervous system and the muscles need to work together. When children are born their nervous system is still immature and needs to develop. As a child grows, their motor skills develop.
Motor skills can be separated into two main types: Gross Motor Skills and Fine Motor Skills.
What is Gross Motor Skills?
In this context the word gross is meant to signify large. Gross motor skills are large movements and usually involve the larger muscles of the body. Examples of gross motor movements would be turning your body over or sitting up. These are some of the first skills that babies learn. Thus gross motor development starts very early.
What is Fine Motor Skills?
Fine motor movements are more precise. They involve smaller groups of muscles like those in the fingers, the lips and the wrist. Fine motor skills are required when more intricate actions need to be carried out like picking up an object. Fine motor development starts a short while after gross motor development.
Gross Motor Activities
Activities that help develop a child’s gross motor skills are referred to as gross motor activities. You can set up some paper plates in the back yard and ask your child to jump from one plate to the next. You can set up a target and ask them to throw things at it. These kinds of activities will help your child develop their skills and help them burn a lot of energy.
Fine Motor Activities
Activities that help develop fine motor skills are called fine motor activities. These activities focus on more precise movements and will help your child improve hand eye coordination. One of the easiest activities you can set up is giving your child a ball of dough. The will develop their skills as the roll and squeeze the dough while trying to build with it. Activities like stringing balls on a thread, or poking straws through holes will also help improve fine motor skills.
We hope this article has helped you understand the difference between gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Play time for children should include a good balance of both activities.