Watching our children grow and learn new skills is one of the greatest joys a parent can have. In the first several years we watch as they develop all types of physical and mental skills. It is fascinating to watch a toddler take their first steps and quickly fine tune their movements from walking to running, jumping, climbing and so much more. During this time they are gaining control of their bodies and developing both fine and gross motor skills.
Developing fine and gross motor skills is a huge part of a one to four year old’s life. Gross motor skills focus more on the child’s over all ability while fine motor skills focuses on specific skills and areas of the body. Often times these skills develop as the child becomes more mobile and explores the world.
However there are many specific activities that can enable fine and gross motor skills. I personally became interested in this subject when I noticed my four year old’s scissors cutting skills were sub par. She can run and maneuver around a corner like nobody’s business but in this one specific area she needed practice. It is easy to focus on these skills and hone in on the type of activity needed. Below is a list of age appropriate activities which focus on developing fine and gross motor skills. Many of these activities are fun and engaging and are secretly educational to your children!
Activities to Develop Skills for 1/2 Year Olds
- Climbing stairs
- Creating a cushioned obstacle course
- Crawling through tunnels and tents
- Stacking blocks
- Using sand toys
Activities to Develop Skills for 2/3 Year Olds
- Playing red light green light one, two, three (also helps with stop and go in the parking lot)
- Playground fun (climbing, swinging, sliding)
- Developing jumping, hopping, skipping, and balancing skills
- Creating structures out of blocks
- Sand and water tables
Activities to Develop Skills for 3/4 Year Olds
- Playing following the leader
- Playing freeze dance
- Using markers, crayons, pens, paint brushes, pencils and scissors
- Beading a necklace / bracelet
- Working on shoe tying