How parents can help their children develop motor skills – The first years of a child’s life are particularly important to their motor development. During this time, the brain matures and completes its structure. Any external stimulus will determine how well it can control thinking about physical activity as life progresses.
What does motor skills mean?
Motor skills refer to all movement skills of a person and consists of several components. On the one hand, this includes limited abilities such as strength and endurance. Also, the coordination ability ensures the necessary mobility and controlled control of the body.
The nervous system controls partial movements of the musculature. As the child becomes active, the corresponding connections of his nerve cells develop. The motor skills of a person, therefore, depend heavily on the extent to which he can absorb information, process and react to it. Scientists distinguish two types of motor skills:
- Gross motor skills: Gross motor skills are all major body movements meant. For adequate gross motor movements you need, among other things, a stable musculature, a good body scheme / good body perception, eye-hand coordination, and a good balance, etc. When jumping, catching, throwing, jumping, climbing, the gross motor skills are particularly well trained therefore playing in the park or the playground particularly suitable for the gross motorische promotion. Suitable sports include athletics, swimming, horseback riding, football or martial arts. But games with the whole family, such as badminton, ballooning or catching games train the gross motor skills.
- Fine motor skills: Fine motor skills are all small and finer movements of the hands/fingers and feet/toes as for when painting, kneading, play and finger games called. Fine motor movements, among other things, require a good visual perception and a well-developed musculature. Painting with different writing utensils, modeling with modeling clay or building with Lego are well-known methods for promoting fine motor skills. Playing marbles, bowling or hammering nails with a hammer also teaches the children how to use and dose their powers.
Babies do not need a training plan
Parents who think they need to develop the motor skills of their baby according to a meticulously crafted plan will go beyond the actual goal. Rather, it is about the youngest to promote the interaction between thinking and targeted actionism on the natural fun of movement in a playful way.
For babies, first of all, a good body perception combined with a good body feeling is essential. It is thereby set, for example, the ability to coordinate eye-hand movements to smaller and smaller things selectively engage or her head and finally the whole body into the desired position rotates. By stimulating the sense of touch and balance over and over again, parents can support their child in this learning process.
- Loving touching gives the baby security. An extra dose of pampering, which turns into a small massage, helps the little ones to feel their body. They learn to use their muscular system in a targeted manner, for example by holding their hands against the hand or consciously “defending” themselves against rolling around.
- Positioning babies more often in the prone position during the day (for example, on a soft blanket or mat on the carpet with the favorite toy in reach) can be very helpful to stimulate the development of the head, neck and shoulder muscles. The more time babies spend in this position, the faster they often learn to spin, roll and crawl. However, you should never lie prone to prone and the period should be slowly increased (from a few seconds prone position of a newborn on the mother’s lap to a period of 20 minutes per day for a 3-4-month-old baby.
- Simple finger games promote the fine motor skills of infants particularly well. Add a little song or nursery rhyme, and the fun gets even bigger.
- Motorized toys, such as sounding gripping balls, soft cube dice or rattles – in short, anything the baby can grab, what it shakes or crawls behind helps it to improve its motor skills. Motorikspielzeuge is available for all ages. From about the third month, when the little ones use their hands and fingers more intensively, the parents can offer their treasure suitable, carefully selected toys.
- Playing with sand and water, such as pouring water from one container into the other, as well as digging in and out of playing pieces in the sand, promote tactile perception and thus also fine motor skills.
- Variety of craft materials and activities offered: cotton wool, ribbons, branches, cones, cardboard, paper, foil. The building, cutting, gluing and painting trains the fine motor skills.
As soon as the child starts to walk, there are hardly any limits to creativity. Whether sorting stations, motorbike loops, pontoons, ball games, balancing, slides, swings, picking flowers, paint with chalk and pencils or crawl through tunnels: all physical activities train the motor skills. When it rains outside, just create an obstacle course in the house with pillows, chairs and cardboard boxes. The whole family can help with ideas, and their child can let off steam while climbing over and over, crawling around, crawling around, etc.
What to do about abnormalities?
Every child has its own pace of development. This also applies to the training of his course and fine motor skills. Also, every person has certain strengths and weaknesses.
However, parents should always keep in mind that their children need challenges. After all, about 650 muscles and all associated bones, tendons and nerves are required. If the opportunity arises, it is great if a part of the nursery or another part of the apartment can be set up accordingly: a trampoline, wall bars, enough space to build a cave and a craft corner love all children.
However, sometimes it may be that individual development is no longer within the tolerance of normal developmental differences. Children with a conspicuous behavior, for example suggesting disturbances of balance or dexterity, should, therefore, be presented as a precaution to an experienced doctor or therapist (occupational therapists or physiotherapists deal with motor development and developmental support in babies and children). He will use special diagnostic procedures to determine whether everything is “green” or, if necessary, recommend targeted early childhood support .
MIDWIFE TIP BY INA ELMER
Midwife & mother
- Give your child time to develop, provide the opportunity to be promoted through certain occupations, but do not put pressure on your baby. This is how the development works best.