Little ones are constantly developing their bodies in new ways, learning to jump, climb, skip, and hop—skills that build on one another. Developing gross-motor, or large-muscle, skills helps increase kids’ strength, coordination, and confidence. Here are some ways you can help:
- Introduce a tricycle or pedaling toy.
- Encourage kids to climb and swing at the playground.
- Play catch or kick a ball.
- Get kids involved in individual or group activities such as soccer, jump rope, or swimming.
- Put on some music and dance!
Small-muscle, or fine-motor, skills are another big part of development. Hand-eye coordination lets kids draw, scribble, and write—all important skills for school. Consider these ways to build fine motor skills:
- Do art projects that include drawing, cutting with safety scissors, and pasting.
- Do puzzles that have pieces of different sizes.
- Provide toys that allow for sorting or stacking.
- Play with trains or cars that need to be pushed along a track.
- Create objects by molding clay.
- Give kids practice with buttons and snaps.