Gross Motor Control

What are gross motor skills?

Crawling, walking, kicking and lifting… They’re all tasks that belong to the ‘gross motor skills’ group. You’ve probably heard of them but you might not know exactly what they are.

Put simply, gross motor skills are big body movements – the ones that require our coordination, balance and ability to control our posture. They also involve eye-hand coordination such as being able to throw and catch a ball.

Bit by bit from the time they were born your child has been developing their gross motor skills. Everything from learning to lift their head and shoulders to sitting up to rolling, crawling, standing and finally walking.

Cuteness overload!

By now they’re probably running, jumping, hopping and skipping – perhaps even at the same time! Once they get to school, little miss or mister will expand on these skills even further.

Gross motor abilities can significantly affect junior's everyday performance in school tasks such as handwriting and participating in group sports.

Don’t worry, we’ve got so many activities and strategies that will help your youngster develop their gross motor skills. Find out more below!

(NB: click on the image above to watch a vid with more gross motor info)

What do gross motor skills involve?

How do I know if my child is having difficulty with their gross motor skills?

Your child might have gross motor difficulties if they struggle with tasks such as:

  • Ball and bat games
  • Group sports and games
  • New tasks that haven't involved much practice
  • Skipping with a skipping rope
  • Obstacle courses
  • Activities that require both arms and legs to be doing different things (e.g. ping pong, swimming)

The gross motor skill subsets

Now for the detail! Gross motor skills can be divided into these three broad categories or subsets:

You might find that your little one is strong in some and not in others. All three play a role in little miss or mister’s overall gross motor development so it’s important your tyke is given the opportunity to build on each of them.

Find out more about gross motor skills

Check out the upper limb strength and stability, proprioception (body awareness) and coordination and motor planning pages to find out more about the gross motor skill subsets, including how to spot if your child might be having difficulties with any of them.

Don’t forget that becoming a PlayBiz member gives you access to a comprehensive library of activities that will help you help your whippersnapper develop their crucial foundation skills!

This includes 2-minute Play-a-Short videos that give you and junior a fun and entertaining ‘therapist style’ demonstration of how to develop specific gross motor skills through playful activities such as hopping like bunnies, walking sideways like crabs and playing ‘wheelbarrow bowling’ (where you hold junior’s feet while they bowl with their hands). Not only will your tot have fun, but they’ll be developing their big body movements too!

There are also the 10-minute Play-a-Long videos that combine several foundation skills for optimum effect. Picture a fun and educational TV program like PlaySchool crossed with an occupational therapy session that’s chock full of strategies to help develop your little one’s essential foundation skills.

Ready, steady, learn!

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Combined Videos

Combining several foundation skills, our PlayBiz Play-a-Long videos run for 10 minutes or so. We’ve carefully ordered the activities so they enable your youngster to have an optimal learning experience and develop the skills they’ll need for school by joining in the ‘teachable moments’. Picture a fun and educational TV program like PlaySchool crossed with an occupational therapy session that’s chock full of strategies. Ready, steady, learn! Please note: The Play-a-Long videos don’t need to be viewed in any particular order.