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What is Gross Motor?

Gross motor skills are those movement activities that require whole body movements and involve the large muscle of the body to perform.  These movements allow children to perform everyday skills, such as standing, walking, running, jumping and even sitting upright at a table or desk.  It also includes hand-eye coordination skills to be able to perform activities for ball activities (catch, throw, kick), as well as the ability to ride a bike or scooter.

Why are gross motor skills important?

Gross motor skills are important for school activities as they enable children to perform everyday functions, such as walking or running, transferring in/out of desk/chairs throughout the school, playground skills, or peer related play activities (such as recess skills).  However, these skills are also important for everyday self care activities, such as dressing (where you need to be able to stand on one leg and maintain your balance to put your leg into your pants; or to be able to maintain your balance while completing toileting skills).  Gross motor skills also influence other activities that are required daily of children.  For example, being able to sit at a desk or in the cafeteria with good posture and core stability to eat lunch or complete desk work in the classroom. This also affects a child’s ability to complete fine motor activities for writing, coloring, and cutting skills. Gross motor skills also impact your endurance to complete a full day of school (sitting at a desk, moving in the classroom and school setting, carrying a backpack, etc) and being able to navigate the school environments (playground, cafeteria, steps, ramps, etc.).

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