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There are many toddler activities that focus on gross motor skills and permit for child development to occur during play, such as it is found in a daycare environment. At the same time, these activities allow for professional assessment of a child with respect to any potential developmental road blocks.
Here we look at couple effective and simple techniques that do not require the purchase of equipment or tools.
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Color on the Floor
There is nary a toddler who does not enjoy coloring; subsequently, it is one of their favorite activities. Make coloring a gross motor activity by placing a large sheet of paper – such as what may be ripped off a roll of butcher paper – onto the floor.
Encourage the children to color, but have them do so on their hands and knees. The motor skills exercised in art activities such as this one deal directly with spatial self-awareness as well as visual spatial execution.
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Color on the Wall - With Your Toes!
Older toddlers still greatly benefit from gross motor activities, but their motor skills are more advanced. For this exercise, tape the butcher paper to the wall, and show the children how to place a crayon between their toes. Encourage the children to color onto the butcher paper, but only use crayons held with their toes.
This activity actually combines visual spatial execution, spatial self-awareness, and also motor planning. It may also be used to improve fine motor skills as well. You will find that this is one of the toddler activities that leads to a lot of hooting and hollering in addition to sound child development.
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Understanding the Need for Gross Motor Activities for Toddlers
Bright Hub’s own Mayflor Markusic penned an important article entitled “Identifying Problems With Gross Motor Skills." Within it, she underscores the importance of utilizing gross motor activities in toddler playtime to ensure normal child development. In her article, Ms. Markusic also outlines examples of such motor skills, including bodily locale awareness, motor planning, and visual spatial execution.
Another Bright Hub writer, Donna Cosmato, goes back even further in the article “Infant and Toddler Gross Motor Skill Development," which addresses gross motor activities for infants and very young toddlers, showing that it is never too early to start reinforcing these skills.
Playtime should always be fun, but by incorporating some purposeful developmentally appropriate activities, you can further healthy child development at the same time.