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Examples of gross motor skills in children

Examples of gross motor skills in children

As a parent, you’re probably worried if your child arrives development milestones . Knowing what gross motor skills are and examples of how children display them can reassure you of their progress. You will be able to better inform your pediatrician about these skills so that your child’s development can be monitored.

General presentation

In essence, gross motor skills are actions that use thick or large muscles in the body, such as those in the arms, legs and core. As a result, gross motor skills are sometimes called high motor skills. Children about one year of age can already develop a variety of gross motor skills, including crawling, standing, walking through furniture or walking, and fluttering. Although even young children can perform these tasks, the coordination between the upper and lower body is not very developed at this time.


As a child approaches the age of 2, gross motor skills expand to include tasks such as bending over to pick up a toy, running, climbing steps, and kicking or throwing a ball. As a parent of a young child, you may notice a dramatic change in your child’s gross motor skills in just one year. «At first he could barely walk, and now he runs everywhere,» you can see.

As children approach the age of 3 or 4, they begin to master complex motor skills, such as jumping (both in position and forward) or balancing on one leg. His ability to climb stairs and throw balls also shows marked improvements.

You can encourage your child’s development in this area by offering many opportunities to practice. Plan regular outdoor physical activities, such as sand games, scavenger hunts, or yard work. You can also encourage indoor activities such as yoga, hiding or looking for obstacles. Buy one small ball game or a basketball hoop. Then teach your child how to use them and allow them to play with them freely.

Avoid delaying the development of gross motor skills

Parents should be careful to avoid unintentional behavior in ways that may impede the development of a child’s gross motor skills. For example, some parents frequently take their children or put them in prams. To facilitate the development of gross motor skills, you should strive to let your children practice their walking skills. You can take them out of the stroller for a while, allowing the children to hold to the side for balance. When it’s time to cross the street or the kids get tired, you can put them back in the stroller.

Not all children develop at the same rate

Observing gross motor skills is a great way to see if your child or preschooler is reaching the right stages of development. That being said, not all children develop at the same rate. Some will develop certain skills before others. But if you suspect that your child has a developmental delay, do not hesitate to contact your pediatrician. Report how your child is progressing so you can work together to detect any delays or make sure they are on track.