Some children may require specific support to develop their motor skills at some point of their development i.e. movement, fine hand skills and self-help skills. A motor skill is an action that involves the movement of muscles in the body. Children may need support due to lack of early experience, opportunity to develop motor skills, delayed development or motor difficulties.
Gross motor skills are larger movements your child makes with his arms, legs, feet, or his entire body. Hopping, skipping and jumping are gross motor skills. From the ages of 0-5 years, given the opportunity, we normally develop the basic components which form the foundations for the development of more sophisticated skills. Your child must have a basic understanding of his/her body in space and its relationship to his/her environment; the strength to move and maintain postures; the balance to carry out movements or remain still. Therefore it is important that the child is exposed to experiences that allow him/her to practice and practice again movements that develop these core skills.
Fine motor skills are smaller actions. When your child picks things up between his finger and thumb, or wriggles his toes in the sand, he’s using his fine motor skills. Sometimes this pattern of development doesn’t happen and there are ‘holes’ in children’s basic skills. This may be due to a genetic factor such as low muscle tone or from a lack of opportunity to experience, practice and consolidate skills. Should a child be experiencing difficulties in writing, scissor activities or other apparently fine motor skills, it would be worth investigating whether there are difficulties in his/her gross motor skills.