There are tons of fun and simple ways to promote gross motor skills in your child between ages 1 and 2. And the best part of kids at this age is that they’re curious about everything, which makes it easy to get their attention and engage in exploration, climbing, and learning about how their bodies move in space (click here for a list of gross motor skills for toddlers and infants as well as developmental milestones).
Gross Motor Skills for Infants
From birth to 3-years of age a child’s brain continues to grow and build numerous connections and pathways, so, for this reason, it’s important to establish a good routine that involves repetition and activities for the growth of your baby’s gross motor skills development (we offer in-home occupational therapy so your child’s routine isn’t interrupted!). You have seen a newborn’s wobbly head, relying on you for support. That’s because when babies are born they have yet to grow into all their muscles. It takes time for them to get stronger, and that’s why the baby goes through different stages of growth development.
There are many fun activities that you can do with your little one; some activities you can create by using things from around the house, and there are some cool things you can buy as well. No matter what activities you create for your baby’s playtime, it’s important to remember that they will once again rely on you for teaching them and to play with them. This is a great time for their little brains to learn about imagination, and the bonding time you share is more valuable than anything else you will ever experience in your lifetime. Try a few of these gross motor skills activities at your home with your children!
Gross Motor Skills for Toddlers: Make Diaper Changes Easier
By the time your baby gets to this age, diaper changing becomes a workout. You probably experience flipping and flopping like your baby is suddenly a fish out of the water. You might even find your little one trying to help, and we all know how messy that can be, so this would be a good time to turn the workout into a fun exercise. When your baby starts flipping and flopping you should start singing. Once you draw their attention, they will stop and look at you. When they stop moving, you stop singing. When they start flopping again, you start singing again. You will be surprised at how fast your baby will figure out the power of control. They will have fun controlling you and before you know it, the diaper will be new, and they won’t even realize you ever changed it. When you’re finished, give them some kisses and positive assurance (here are some tips for bath time, too!)
Gross Motor Skills Activities: Use Items from Your Home
One of the best ways to promote gross motor skills for toddlers is also the easiest: How many gifts have your baby received but chose to play with the box instead of the toy? It’s amazing how simple little things like a box can make a baby happy. You can create all kinds of activities with a box. Turn it upside down and use it as a drum, show the baby how to hit it and watch as they mimic your action. Turn the box into a house for toys. Set it up on its side and show your baby how to stack the toys inside. Fill it with stuffed animals and then listen to the giggles as you pour them out. Be creative and watch your baby’s eye light up with joy.