What is Gross Motor Development?

Kylee Hooper

Posted on April 09 2021

 We use gross motor skills to do everyday things that involve our large muscles, from exercising to mowing the lawn. Most people use these skills easily and automatically. But gross motor skills are more complex than you might think.

These skills involve the coordination of the muscles and the neurological system. They impact balance and coordination. They also form the basis for fine motor skills (more on that another day) that help us make small movements.

Gross motor skills are related to other abilities. These include:

  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Body awareness
  • Physical strength
  • Reaction time

All of these abilities help kids participate successfully in every day activities.

What are the building blocks necessary to develop gross motor skills

Muscular strength: The ability to exert force against resistance.

Muscular endurance: The ability of a muscle or group of muscles to exert force repeatedly against resistance.

Motor (muscle) planning: The ability to move the body with appropriate sequencing and timing to perform bodily movements with refined control.

Motor learning: A change in motor (muscle) behaviour resulting from practice or past experience.

Postural control: The ability to stabilize the trunk and neck to enable coordination of other limbs.

Sensory processing: Accurate registration, interpretation and response to sensory stimulation in the environment and one’s own body.

Body awareness: Knowing body parts and understanding the body’s movement in space in relation to other limbs and objects.

Balance: The ability to maintain position whether that is static, dynamic (moving) or rotational.

Coordination: Ability to integrate multiple movements into efficient movement.

Crossing Mid-line: The ability to cross the imaginary line running from the child’s nose to pelvis that divides the body into left and right sides.

Proprioception: This is information that the brain receives from our muscles and joints to make us aware of body position and body movement.

Muscle Tone: The resting muscle tension of a muscle which is the continuous and passive partial contraction of the muscles.

(Thanks to childdevelopment.com.au for these building block tips)

Now here at Busy Books Australia we can't claim that our Busy Books can help with all of the above areas of development, but our Busy Books do and can assist with the development of some of these areas in conjunction with many other development skills and abilities.

Have you any questions on the above or on our Busy Books? Please feel free to contact us with them.

More Posts