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Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills describes physical development using ‘big movements’ starting with small babies rolling over and moving on as they grow to being able to run, jump and hop. The best way to help your child build on these skills is to give them plenty of opportunity to practice them.

Most children enjoy being physically active. You probably see how much your child enjoys getting out and has a lot of energy.

The advice is that preschool children should have three hours of physical activity over 24 hours. This will give them the chance to build confidence and skills as well as helping them keep healthy and get into good habits.

Most children will run, hop on one foot and be able to kick, throw and sometimes catch a ball by the time they start school. They should be able to safely manage going up and downstairs.

  • Try and get out and about in big spaces when you can, where your child can run, jump and climb safely. 

    • Join in with them; take a ball along to play with. When you join in you set a good example and your child will enjoy it much more.
    • Walk whenever you can.
    • Let your child balance on low walls (holding a hand to begin with), jump in puddles or hop along on one leg.
    • Your child will enjoy playing on the equipment at the park.

    Activities like these will build your child's confidence and makes a walk to the shops, nursery or school more fun!

  • You can practice gross motor skills at home too! You could try;

    • Jump up and down from a bottom step.
    • Play with cardboard boxes. Makes tunnels. Step in and out of the boxes.
    • Practice walking like different animals.
    • Make an indoor obstacle course; crawl around paper cups, jump over pillows and do ten star jumps.
    • Keep a balloon up in the air.

Who Can Help?

If you are worried that your child is really struggling with physical skills speak to their nursery or preschool setting first. If your child is not at nursery, or you are still worried contact Just One Number to talk to a health professional for advice and support.

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text Chathealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of the Healthy Child Programme team.

Alternatively you can go to see your GP to discuss concerns.

To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.

 

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