From the moment they’re born, children need to develop motor skills for several reasons. First and foremost, their arms, legs, and muscles need strength to perform everyday activities like walking, running, eating, writing, and playing, among others. Secondly, physical activity is part and parcel of a healthy lifestyle.
And thirdly, the skills they learn early in life will help them do more complex activities in the future, like playing soccer with a team. Therefore, it’s your responsibility as a parent to look for ways to help your child develop motor skills. Moreover, you ought to make it fun-filled for them, so that you don’t lose their attention and interest.
Read the five practical tips below in organizing motor skills activities for your child:
- Obstacle Course
You can construct a child-friendly obstacle course either inside your house or outdoors if you have space. You can include simple activities such as the following:
- Stepping with both feet through rings arranged on the ground
- Crawling under a table
- Slithering under a tight rope
- Spinning around
- Jumping several times
- Jumping over hurdles
- Balancing on elevated platforms
For some of these activities, you may have to purchase the obstacles from local kids' stores. Just ensure that the hurdles are not too difficult for your child’s current stage of development. Otherwise, they may lose interest.
A good approach is to use several types of obstacles to complete one course. Ensure you set the starting and ending points. As your child progresses through one hurdle to the next, you can reward them with small gifts, such as a chocolate bar.
- Kids' Ride-On Cars
There’s no denying that driving is an integral part of life. Your child doesn’t have to wait until they’re 18 years or older to get behind the wheels. It's always a good idea to buy them kid cars. They come in various designs that mimic the popular adult cars in the market. So, if your child is a fan of police cars, bulldozers, range rovers, Mercedes, Ferrari, or even four-wheeled motorbikes, you can buy them one.
Kid cars are good for a family day out in a park with ample space. Alternatively, your child can simply cruise the neighbourhood in their new ride. Don’t be surprised if neighbours join in the fun. As they ride the mini cars, they develop their coordination skills. Their eyes have to work with their arms and legs. Also, driving helps them know how to scan the surroundings for potential danger. That’s a great component of development.
By dancing, your child gets to move his arms, legs, head, neck, torso, and hips in a coordinated manner. Furthermore, most kids love dancing. So, take this opportunity to improve their motor skills. If there’s an affordable dance academy around your area of residence, enrol your child for weekend or evening classes.
Alternatively, you can dance with them right in your living room. Look for dance-along videos produced for kids. Play them from your computer or tablet set at a strategic position for everyone to see. Copy the moves that the trainer performs. As you do so, assist your child in moving their body as illustrated on the screen.
Trampolines are a great tool for motor skills development because of their bouncy surface. Whenever your child lands on it, they leap back into the air. Such up and down movements are key in helping your child engage several parts of the body to find balance.
No matter your child's age, there’s a trampoline out there fit for them. Likewise, there are ones that can fit the space you have in your living room or yard. If you don’t feel like purchasing one, make it a point to take your child to parks with trampolines.
- Balloon Volleyball
Kneel on the ground together with your child and play volleyball using a balloon. Aim to prevent the balloon from touching the ground as long as possible. Make it a rule that no one is allowed to rest their bottom on their feet. This posture provides strength to the abdomen, which is an essential component of motor skills development.
To ConcludeYou can help your child develop motor skills by engaging in fun-filled activities. Aside from the few highlights in this article, you can try playing hopscotch, wheelbarrow walks, imitating animals and walking like them on all fours, tug of war, ball games, and blowing bubbles, among many others. Whatever activity you choose, make sure it isn’t dangerous in any way for you and the child. Also, it helps if you choose activities that break that chain of digital dependency that’s making kids less physically active.