Gross and fine motor skills

Image: Early Movers 4

Learning to move is important for children and a significant development. It enables children to make their own choices and learn about their world.

The development of the seven sensory systems is necessary for children to effectively develop gross and fine motor skills.

Physical development covers a wide range of gross and fine motor skills (outputs) that are made in response to sensory input.

Gross motor skills refer to the controlling of large body movements that involve large muscle groups, including core stability and posture e.g. pushing, pulling, rolling, crawling, walking and sitting still.

Fine motor skills refer to physical skills that involve small muscles and hand-eye coordination. Movements are more controlled and precise and often a well-developed pincer grip is needed.

Fine motor skills are needed for:

  • mark making in communication, language and literacy.
  • counting equipment in numeracy, doing up buttons and laces.

Both gross motor skills and fine motor skills are needed for children to engage in creative activities such as dance and art. They are also important for health as children need to move to be active. They are needed for self care, like being able to go to the toilet independently, or getting dressed.


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