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  • Writer's pictureTilda Dodson

What are gross motor skills?

Tasks that use the large muscles in our arms, legs and body to complete. The development of these skills is essential in order to be able to support the development of the smaller muscles needed for other tasks. Gross motor skills include the development of strength, control, coordination and balance that contribute to the way we are able to walk, run, jump and play.


Gross motor skills begin to develop from birth - whilst sitting and crawling are two significant milestones used to measure development, for a child to achieve something like turning their head, rolling, or being able to push a ball are indicators of typical development.


A child who is not achieving milestones, and able to demonstrate skills may be indicative of developmental delays, which an Occupational therapist, and other health professionals can support with.


Regular engagement in activities that incorporate gross motor skills are essential for continued development and ensuring that your child continues to build on these skills, which are essential for participation in everyday activities, such as being able to complete tasks efficiently, safely and comfortably. Activities that support the development of gross motor skills include:

  • Obstacle courses

  • Playground play

  • Throwing and catching with a ball

  • Running and jumping

  • Play in sandpit

  • Skipping rope play



If you have concerns about your child’s gross motor skill development, you can discuss with your Occupational therapist or Paediatrician for further support.


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