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Gross Motor Development Milestone for Three Year Old

By the time children attain an age of three years, they develop gross as well as fine motor skills. This is the age when kids actually fine tune the skills they have acquired. Parents need to be extra vigilant during this phase. Physical capabilities acquired by the age of three are not in sync with the reasoning abilities children have developed; hence they are more prone and exposed to accidents and getting hurt.

Gross motor skills & Fine motor skills-
Gross Motor skills include movement of large muscles in the legs, arms and torso. These generally include activities such as running, bending over, balancing on one foot for a few seconds, kicking, climbing, pedaling, jumping, and moving forward and backward.

Fine motor skills are about coordination of small muscles and basically, involve the movement of hands and fingers. These include activities such as using a cup, spoon or fork, getting dressed themselves, copying shapes such as circles, building blocks, holding a pen properly and activities such as screwing and unscrewing lids.

Gross motor skills as a mode of communication
Typical trait observed in growing children is their communication through actions when they run out of words. Examples would be a child jumping up and down to express her joy and shaking her fist when in anger. These are demonstrations of developing gross motor skills in children.

Importance of Gross Motor skills-
Major gross motor development milestones like walking or sitting up without support may be achieved by a lot of kids, but a few of them may encounter issues such as balancing on one foot or hopping as they grow up. These children may exhibit clumsiness in class or inabilities to execute small tasks such that pedaling a cycle, climbing up or catching a ball. These inabilities or inaccuracies may go unnoticed by parents until children reach school going age. These may not impediment a child’s life from being successful, but may have a bearing on a child’s self-esteem and confidence level.

Boosting motor development skills-
Few activities which may be helpful in developing gross motor skills in three-year-olds have been discussed below.
1. Playing with the ball. Rolling the ball forward and backward and practicing kicking it.
2. Dancing on fast numbers to ensure movement of all body parts.
3. Swinging in the playground.
4. Encouraging kids to play with play-doh.
5. Allowing them to use fork and spoon for eating themselves.
6. Involving them in the kitchen in tasks such as pealing the orange, pulling out the pomegranate seeds and picking grapes.
7. Child scissors practicing under supervision. It is to be ensured that the scissors is not sharp enough to hurt the child.
8. Using rollers and brushes for paint.

Condition of dyspraxia-
Dyspraxia may be referred to as a condition of the brain which makes physical movement difficult to plan and coordinate. These children may suffer odd postures and problems with balancing. Dyspraxia may be of various types.
• Ideational dyspraxia- This refers to difficulty in performing sequential movements like making the bed or brushing teeth.
• Ideomotor dyspraxia- This refers to difficulty in completing a single step motor task like waving or combing hair.
• Oromotor dyspraxia- This condition refers to difficulty in coordinating movements required for pronouncing words correctly.
• Constructional dyspraxia- Children suffering from this condition have difficulties in drawing geometrical shapes and using building blocks.

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