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.
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 two subgroups; object control skills and locomotor skills. Gross locomotor skills focus on skills such as jumping, running, climbing, and swinging, while object control skills involve kicking, lifting, throwing, or catching.
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.
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.
The path to independence can be a bumpy one. However, gross motor activities with giant blocks can lead to greater independence!