There are lots of good reasons to get moving!
Kids need to be active for at least 60 minutes a day, with 30 minutes of this outside of school. This should include 3 sessions a week of activity that strengthens muscles and bones, so mix it up! Research shows that physical activity can help school-aged kids in lots of ways.
- Improves behaviour, self-confidence and social skills
- Improves attention levels and performance at school
- Develops co-ordination
- Strengthens muscles and bones
- Improves health and fitness
- Maintains healthy weight
- Helps them sleep better
- Improves mood and makes them feel good
Gross motor skills and fine motor skills describes how a child is moving his or her body.
Gross motor skills refer to movements which involve the whole body. Examples include; running, jumping, swimming, cycling and throwing and catching a ball.
Fine motor skills refer to dextrous movements of the fingers and thumbs. Some examples of fine motor activities include; writing or drawing, fastening buttons or zips or opening and closing boxes or jars.
All children need to develop their gross motor skills in order to be able to participate in; exercise, sport, P.E. at school and to ensure that they lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Most children will acquire gross motor skill through play, social interaction with others and through education. They will not need specialist input to help them with this. However there are also a number who find it more difficult to develop gross motor skills. If a child appears not to be performing gross motor skills at the same level as other children their age, they may benefit from practising games and exercises which will help them to improve.
There are three links below to activity sheets full of ideas of activities which might be helpful for your child to try. The activities are grouped into the following categories:
The activities are targeted for children aged 6 – 10. Many of the tasks are likely to be too difficult for children younger than this but the activities are fun and younger children might like to try!
There are some medical conditions which make it harder for children to acquire gross motor skills. Some of these include;
- Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) (also known as dyspraxia)
- Developmental Delay
- Global Delay
- Down’s Syndrome
- Learning difficulties
The advice sheets may be useful for children with any of the conditions above.
In addition, many neurological or orthopaedic conditions will result in difficulty acquiring gross motor skills. Please discuss your concerns with your usual therapist, or ring the advice line if you do not currently have a therapist to speak to.
The advice line is open between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and there is the option to leave a voicemail message outside of these hours or if the line is busy