As a child grows, there is significant development in his bones and muscles. This enhances the child’s ability to move around in their environment. This development is known as a child’s motor development. Simple acts like crawling, walking, running and jumping, that looks extremely cute, are known as motor skills.
An article by Parents stated that kids should be provided a wide range of materials, such as magnetic blocks, bristle blocks, modelling clay, paste, paints safety scissors to promote motor development in children, while encouraging other skills, including creativity. They should be encouraged to pick things up, stack blocks together, while being given the freedom to use different objects as they like to encourage creativity.
Types of Motor Skills
Typically, motor skills are categorized into two groups:
- Gross motor skills: This involves movement and coordination of the larger body parts, such as arms and legs. These movements are involved in actions like running, crawling, rolling over, sitting and swimming.
- Fine motor skills: These are movements that involve small muscles of the body, such as fingers, toes, wrist, tongue and lips. These help a child pick up and hold objects. Kidsense published that fine motor skills also include self-care and pencil skills that are essential for academics and building self esteem.
Although motor development can take place at an unpredictable pace, it can be majorly divided in two stages – the first being the exploration phase that goes on till the age of 2, and the second being the application phase, where the child advances in their motor development.
0 to 2 years
Till a child is about 6 months old, they are only able to lie on their stomach. In that position, they can kick their legs, lift their head to see an object and lift their arms, trying to grab things. During this time, they develop coordination, muscle strength and balance. With time and practice, they are able to reach and grasp objects. By the time, they are a year old, they are able to support their own weight on their arms.
They are able to sit with no support too. Eventually they develop stability. In this phase, a child also learns to achieve independence. They try to change locations and positions, without any help. They first being to crawl and then slowly walk and explore their surroundings.
After the age of 1, kids are able to stand with support, which strengthens their leg and back muscles. Once they gain confidence, stopping these confident walkers can nearly become impossible.
2 to 4 Years
By the time they turn 2, they become even more curious. They can run fast, grab balls and kick objects. The pace only increases with time. When they become 3 years old, they can stop objects and pass them forward.
This is also the time when they are developing their fine motor skills. They can hold a pencil or crayon and scribble on paper. Eventually, they learn to draw shapes and fill colours with near perfection.
By their fourth birthday, due to cognitive development, kids are able to mix media, use their motor skills and hand-eye coordination in school.
Parents can contribute to their child’s motor development. Make sure that movement is a part of their routine. For proper brain development and motor development in children, ensure the right nutrition by adding a fortified milk powder like Enfagrow A+ that contains DHA, an important brain food, to their daily diet.