Gross motor skills include activities that use the larger muscles of the body of the arms, legs, and trunk. 

Adequate strength, coordination, and balance are needed to complete gross motor activities, which include things such as walking, running, climbing, jumping, and ball skills.  Gross motor skills are often acquired in a predictable sequence.  For example, children typically progress from crawling to walking to running.  The developmental progression of gross motor skills is listed below: 

Click the age ranges below for development expectations

    • Crawl on their hands and knees
    • Pull himself to stand alone or take steps holding onto furniture
    • Walk with one hand and stand-alone momentarily
    • Toss or roll a large ball
    • Open cabinets, drawers, and boxes
    • Bend over and pick up a toy and not fall
    • Walk up steps with help and take steps backward
    • Throw a ball overhand, try to catch a large ball, and kick a ball forward
    • Walk upstairs with alternating feet
    • Pedal a tricycle
    • Jump with both feet
    • Catch a bouncing ball
    • Walk downstairs using a handrail and alternating feet
    • Be able to start himself swinging and keep going
    • Jump, hop, and skip
    • Able to walk on a balance bean and tiptoes
    • Able to skate and jump rope
    • Run in an adult manner

Fine Motor Skills are necessary to perform activities that involve manipulating items using the small muscles of the hands and fingers. 

Appropriate tone (muscle’s readiness to work), strength, coordination or dexterity, and feeling (sense of touch) is required to perform these tasks.  If a child has difficulty with any or all of these skills, then completing fine motor tasks can be difficult.

Many fine motor tasks involve bilateral coordination, which involves using two hands together to complete a task.  Examples of these include writing, cutting, buttoning a shirt, or catching a ball.  Visual motor skills and the ability to cross midline are also important skills needed for bilateral coordination activities.

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