Gross Motor Skills
Updated: Jul 31, 2022
What are gross motor skills?
Gross motor skills are those which require whole-body movement and which involve the large (core stabilising) muscles of the body to perform everyday functions, such as standing and walking, running and jumping, and sitting upright at the table. They also include eye-hand coordination skills such as ball skills (throwing, catching, kicking) as well as riding a bike or a scooter and swimming.
Why are gross motor skills important?
Gross motor skills enable children to perform everyday functions, such as walking and running, playground skills (e.g. climbing) and sporting skills (e.g. catching, throwing and hitting a ball with a bat). However, these are crucial for everyday self-care skills like dressing and climbing into and out of a car or even getting into and out of bed.
Gross motor abilities also have an influence on other everyday functions. For example, a child’s ability to maintain appropriate tabletop posture (upper body support) will affect their ability to participate in fine motor skills (e.g. writing, drawing and cutting) and sitting upright to attend to class instruction, which then impacts their academic learning. Gross motor skills impact your endurance to cope with a full day of school (sitting upright at a desk, moving between classrooms, carrying your heavy school bag).