Gross motor skills help us to stand, sit, walk, crawl, and stabilize oneself to perform everyday tasks and functions. Tummy time, rolling, crawling, and exploring the environment as an infant starts the process of developing these skills in infancy. As a child grows, the way in which he or she moves around the environment begins to change as well. Play becomes more active, and kiddos can be found climbing, crawling, sliding, hopping, and crashing! These actions help to develop stronger core muscles, which will help with balance, and understanding one’s position in space.
Did you know that developing and improving gross motor skills can actually help with school performance as well?! Studies have shown that participating in gross motor activities and developing these skills can improve attention and memory, which can help to set your child up for success in the classroom too!
Active play is a great way to help promote the development of gross motor skills! Setting up obstacle courses, playing on a playground, doing yoga, and riding a bike are all great ways to encourage gross motor play. We’ve compiled a list of toys that will promote gross motor skill development, starting in infancy, and spanning across a wide range of ages.
For infants, encouraging tummy time, spreading toys or books to either side of your baby to look at, propping on a wedge, and playing in a variety of positions will help to promote gross motor skills. As your child starts to move, setting up a wedge or climbing set will help to develop strong muscles as well! Obstacle courses, scooter boards, games, and other activities that challenge balance, require strength, and encourage movement are perfect for gross motor skill development.