Motor Development

From sitting up on their own to throwing a ball, children gradually develop the physical skills needed for their adult lives. Physical development includes both growth and the ability to use muscles and body parts for particular skills. Both gross (large muscle movements) and fine (small movements) motor skills contribute to physical development, and children often learn a set of skills by a certain age.

Participate in activities that foster fine motor development

Fine motor skills are things done with your hands, including imitating actions with objects, coloring a picture, grasping a pencil for writing, painting, typing, texting, playing the piano, and so on.

Most children develop the following fine motor skills by four years of age:

  1. demonstrate a hand preference;
  2. hold a marker/crayon with thumb, index, and middle finger (static tripod grasp);
  3. imitate a square;
  4. match 6 colors;
  5. cut out a small square/triangle;
  6. button front-opening clothing;
  7. dress independently when asked;
  8. undress daily at designated times without reminders;
  9. verbalize feelings prior to physical expression;
  10. participate in cooperative play;
  11. comfort playmates in distress;
  12. quiet down after active period and waits for instructions;
  13. return objects to assigned place when asked;

Participate in a variety of gross-motor activities to develop control, balance, strength, & coordination

Gross motor skills involve the large muscles of the body that enable such functions as walking, kicking, sitting upright, lifting, and throwing a ball.

Most children develop the following gross motor skills by four years of age:

  1. stand on one foot for 5 seconds;
  2. stand on tiptoes with hands overhead more than 3 seconds;
  3. hop on one foot forward 1-3 times;
  4. walk downstairs by placing 1 foot on each step (alternating gait) 4 steps;
  5. walk on 2" line for 10 feet without stepping off once;
  6. throw a tennis ball underhand 10 feet using upper trunk rotation, arms and legs moving in opposition and initiating throw by moving arm down and back;
  7. pedal a tricycle for long distances and able to turn corners and make u-turn;
  8. galloping 5 feet;

Understand healthy and safe living practices

Ways to support instruction at home

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