Gross Motor Development | Boost It With Jumbo Blocks

Boost your toddler's gross motor development with a set of giant building blocks. Furthermore, control of these skills builds self-confidence and greater independence.gross motor development-jumbo blocks-greater independence-toddler confidently holding up a giant building block


Define Gross Motor Skills

Motor skills are when the brain and muscles work together to carry out a planned motion. They include two distinct groups: gross (large muscles) and fine (small muscles). Each type depends on the other for coordination development.

Gross motor development will be the focus of this article. Motor skills involve the movements and actions of the muscles. Therefore, gross motor movements include the coordination of large body parts — for example, the legs, arms, and torso.

Additionally, gross motor coordination includes three subgroups; object control skills, stationary skills, and locomotor skills. 

  • Gross locomotor skills include crawling, walking, jumping, running, climbing, and hopping.
  • Object control (manipulation) skills involve rolling, kicking, lifting, throwing, or catching.
  • Stationary skills include movement in place, such as balancing, swinging, pulling, pushing, turning, and twisting.

Gross Motor Skills Development

Providing gross motor activities for toddlers, best suited for their ability, is essential. If it is not stimulating enough, they become bored. However, if it is too difficult, they get discouraged and give up.

Toddlers enjoy playing with giant blocks, which supports their gross motor development. During block play, your toddler practices control and coordination of large body movements. If you watch, you'll see they use their entire body to move the extra-large, blocks into place.

By stacking and arranging the large building blocks, it reinforces the development of their large motor skills. Subsequently, that growth improves their balance, coordination, and gross motor control. Equally important is the increase in their self-confidence, and thereby, greater independence.

Check out these fine motor activities to develop your child's fine motor skills. 

Greater Independence

As your toddlers' gross motor skills develop, they begin to want to do more for themselves. What's difficult is when that becomes challenging. For instance, your child wants to build a castle but seems to be having trouble getting the blocks to stay in place. As a result, they become frustrated.

You hang back, giving them the space to keep trying. Then, you ask your toddler if they want some help. In typical toddler fashion, they reply, "No! Me do". So, you wait and try again later. "I see that you want to build your castle, what if we add some blocks to the bottom and then you can finish building it?" Your toddler agrees.

After adding some jumbo blocks, your toddler is now able to complete their castle with a confident, "Me do!" By helping your toddler without taking over, you let them own their success. They are thereby building their self-confidence and greater independence.

Are you looking for more block activities to support early childhood development?

Gross Motor Milestones

We have created a list below of gross motor skills and milestones you can expect from your child. As a reminder, this is intended for informational purposes only. Not all children develop at the same pace. Some may accomplish them earlier and others later.

If you have any concerns, please get in touch with your pediatrician, as there is a wide range of development among this age group.

Gross Motor Skills for 2-Year-Olds

  • Kicks a ball
  • Jumps in place
  • Walks (not climbs) up and down steps with or without help
  • Climbs up and down from furniture by oneself
  • Carries large toys or pulls them behind while walking
  • Picks up toys from the floor with balance
  • Navigates ride-on-toys without pedals
  • Squats during play without losing balance

Gross Motor Skills for 3-Year-Olds

  • Hops and stands on one foot briefly  
  • Moves forward and backward with agility
  • Catches a ball most of the time
  • Pedals a tricycle
  • Climbs jungle gym and ladders
  • Jumps ahead 10-24 inches  
  • Completes simple bilateral movements of limbs

 Gross Motor Skills for 4-Year-Olds

  • Hops and stands on one foot proficiently
  • Throws a ball overhand
  • Catches a ball reliably  
  • Jumps over objects
  • Runs, jumps, and climbs well, is beginning to skip  
  • Plays hopscotch
  • Begins somersaults
  • Runs around obstacles
  • Walks on a line

  Gross Motor Skills for 5-Year-Olds

  • Pumps a swing
  • Walks upstairs while holding an object
  • Walks backward toe-heel
  • Jumps forward multiple times without falling
  • Hangs from a bar briefly
  • Skips and jump rope  
  • Begins to swim and skate
  • Rides bicycle with or without training wheels    


The path to independence can be a bumpy one. However, gross motor activities with giant blocks build gross motor skills, leading to greater independence!

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