A motor skill is an important concept in the development of a child. It has to do with the muscles in a child’s body and how these muscles are developed to give the child the right balance, locomotion and coordination. Others define it as the movement and action of the muscles and bones of the body. There are basically two types of motor skills.
- Fine motor skills
- Gross motor skills
Read more about motor skills development in children here.
The following article by The Understood Team explains what fine motor skills means to your child’s development.
Fine Motor Skill
This is the movement of the muscles and bones or the hands and wrists of a toddler. They are small movements and are facilitated by the small muscles of the body. They are the movements that come so naturally to kids like a baby holding the outstretched hand of an adult or the way they hold their toys and other things they see around.
Even though they involve the small muscles and bones of the body, these movements are coordinated by the brain and the chemical impulses sent might be somewhat complex. Fine motor skills are responsible for many of the things your child does like holding pencils and crayons in school, using the writs for handwriting, drawing pictures and painting them, playing with other household utensils. Read more here.
When to know there is a problem
It is true that kids develop at a different rate and no two kids are like. However, you should be a little concerned if by 12 months you notice your kid’s grasp of things with their hand is not as strong as those noticed in kids the same age.
Also, if by age 3 to 6 your kid cannot draw any shape (correctly or incorrectly) you should be concerned about their Fine motor skill.
The next article by Children’s Health explains more about Gross motor skills.
Gross Motor Skill
If fine motor skills involve the smaller muscles of the body and are responsible for smaller movements of the hands and wrists, then gross motor skills are the opposite. They involve the movements of the larger muscles and bones of the body in facilitating larger movements of the arms, legs, and torso. They are built on the smaller movements in that a child must first have been used to the smaller movements before they can make the larger movements.
So your child grows up and starts learning to take their first step, these gross motor skills come into play and are necessary as your child puts the arms and legs to use for the first time. It also helps them balance when they stand as well as coordinate their movements. Read more here.
The next highlighted article by Kids Health talks about when parents should be concerned about a child’s development.
When you need to be concerned
As earlier mentioned, the rate at which your child might develop will not be the same as other kids. Still, when you expect your toddler to start taking their first step and they are not, you should be concerned. For example, a 3-year-old baby is expected to have started walking. So if a child is past that age and has not taken their first step, then there is a problem. Read more here.