Toddler gross motor skills

What You Should Know About Toddler Gross Motor Skills

Posted on January 24, 2019 : Posted in Legacy Academy, Parenting Tips
Toddler gross motor skills

The toddler years are full of exciting and challenging changes. Your child is finding her voice, her feelings, and her feet. One of the greatest changes that happens between the infant and preschool years is a great leap in physical ability. A toddler is constantly learning new physical skills and often faces frustration and bumps and bruises along the way. As a parent, it is good to know that these phases are normal as toddler gross motor skills develop. Today we will look at some of the milestones you can expect in the toddler years, as well as fun activities you can do at home to encourage your child’s development.

Why Gross Motor Skills Matter

Gross motor skills require muscle strength, balance, motor planning, and endurance. While crawling or walking across a room may not look like much to us, it is an intense workout for your child’s developing body and mind. The development of these toddler gross motor skills is not only important for daily functioning, like movement and self-care. Additionally, these larger movements contribute to your child’s ability to be successful in fine motor skills, such as writing and cutting, as well as supporting good posture which is essential in later years.

Typical 1-Year-Old Skills

Once your child begins walking, the real gross motor fun begins! Your child will likely begin walking more quickly and then running before you know it. He will learn to squat down to retrieve things from the floor. He will be able to seat himself on a small chair and clear the floor with both feet when he jumps. Additionally, he will begin interacting with toys in intended ways. He will kick and throw balls, pull toys behind him, and jump on a trampoline while holding onto a support.

Typical 2-Year-Old Skills

Two-year-olds are bundles of energy and spirit. In fact, this age is often described as the age when children “never stop.” Your two-year-old will continue to develop her interactions with toys. She will learn to catch as well as throw with more accuracy. Also, her balance will develop, allowing her to stand on one foot for short periods of time. Jumping may become her new favorite activity as she bounds around the room and begins to experiment jumping from low heights to the floor. She may also develop a new love for things with wheels, learning to ride a tricycle or using ride-on toys more effectively.

Toddler Gross Motor Activities

While everyday play is an excellent way for toddler motor skills to grow, there are ways you can engage with your child that encourage them in their development. For instance, visiting playgrounds and play places gives your child opportunities to explore and use his body in ways he may not get to at home. Playing simple sports, like soccer or basketball, also encourages your child to engage different muscle groups and practice new skills. Games like pretending to be animals, blowing bubbles and popping them, and bouncing a balloon in the air all allow your child to work his developing muscles.

Every Child Is Different

Parents know this is true, but it is still worth a reminder. Children develop at a variety of paces and most children develop typical skills within the expected timeframe. If you are concerned about toddler motor skills, you may mention your observations to your child’s teacher or caregivers for more input. As always, your pediatrician is the best person to address your concerns. It is likely that your child will develop all the skills she needs in her own perfect timing.

Toddler gross motor skills are the building blocks for healthy movement throughout your child’s life. As your child’s strength, balance, and hand-eye coordination develop, it will appear that they are growing right before your eyes. Are you looking for childcare that will support your child’s healthy development? Consider Legacy Academy Flynn Crossing. Call or visit today for more information.