Motor Skills to Practice with your Preschooler
Practicing motor skills is very important for your child’s development. Not only can it help your preschooler have better control of their body, it also encourages their brain and muscles to work towards the same goal. If you have a preschooler at home, these motor skills are perfect to start practicing with them.
Rolling is a motor skill that is important for your preschooler to develop. Although you might already think that your child can roll, take another look. You might notice that they can’t roll quickly or that as they roll, they begin to curve in a different direction than rolling in a straight line. To practice this motor skill, have your preschooler lay straight on soft ground or a mat, with their arms either pointing straight above their head or straight along their sides. Your child will then need to start rolling, relying on core muscles to control the movement. If your child starts to curve towards one side, see if they can straighten up so that they roll in a straight line. You can switch the direction that they roll so that they have practicing going left to right and right to left.
Skipping is a skill that takes a lot of thought and coordination. This activity requires your preschooler to use muscles all of their body, as well as their brain to coordinate the movement. Since this motor skill can be difficult for kids to develop, you’ll want to give your child many opportunities to practice. At first, your preschooler will probably only skip with one foot or might miss a few skips. Eventually, as their coordination and skills develop, they’ll be able to skip without thought.
Balance is another motor skill that’s important to practice with your preschooler. Because this is a difficult skill to master, you won’t want to start with your child on a high balance beam. Begin by having your child balance on one foot for a few moments. Make sure they switch which foot they use so that they have practice on both sides. Once your child has mastered this, you can make the transition to balancing on a beam by laying out a jump rope or plank of wood. Your child can then practice balancing on these objects, walking forward without falling over or wobbling. As they begin to master this, you can switch to balancing on a beam or on a ledge.
Crawling is an essential motor skill that is surprisingly difficult for some kids to master. Although your child probably began to craw as an infant, many kids lose the ability to crawl simply because of lack of practice. To help your child develop this skill, you’ll want to give them a chance to practice. Make sure when your child crawls along the floor that they use opposite limbs to move forward. For example, the right knee and left hand should move forward at the same time. If your child has mastered this skill, you can make it more difficult by challenging them to do an army crawl or spider crawl, focusing on using opposite sides of the body to move forward.
Practicing motor skills is important for your child’s development. What motor skills do you practice with your kids?