Gross Motor Skill Activities:
- Lay your baby on their back, and holding their feet, gently flex their legs in to their tummy and back out . Then gently move their legs in a bicycle motion. (*Note: I have found this works great to also relieve any gas bubbles in their tummy as well!)
- Hold a rattle above your baby’s chest, shake it, and encourage them to lift their head to reach towards it.
- While giving your baby a bath, move their legs and arms around teaching them splashing and kicking motions in the water.
- Lay your baby on their tummy, (propped up with a Boppy or small pillow works great) place toys within reach and encourage them to reach out and grab the toys.
- Sit your child on your lap (as if in a chair) when reading to them or sharing pictures with them to develop neck and back muscles.
- Hold your baby’s hands, and help them to stand on the floor or your lap, this will help strengthen their leg muscles and balance.
- Hold your baby’s hands and while helping them to stand assist them in bouncing up and down.
- Blow bubbles with your baby and help them to reach for the bubbles to pop them.
- Continue to lay toys and rattles around your baby while they are on their tummy to encourage them to strengthen neck, back, and arm muscles.
- Make sure your home is child-proof so that you can begin allowing them to explore by crawling around and pulling themselves up. Placing a few toys on a coffee table or low shelf encourages them to pull-up (strengthening their leg muscles).
- Crawl around after your child if a playful game of “I’m going to get you,” to encourage them to master crawling quickly.
- Create a maze of pillows and blankets to crawl over to encourage them to learn body control and also begin developing their sensory processing.
- Encourage your child to discover their world by crawling under and around tables and chairs; stepping back and letting them learn how to maneuver their tiny bodies on their own.
- Create a tunnel or “tent” with a table and a sheet, call your baby’s name and encourage them to crawl through to find you on the other side.
- Provide toys for them to shake and manipulate with their hands while you are changing their diaper. You can make it into a game by singing to them while they shake the toy.
- Bath time can be a great time of discovery with small measuring cups, bowls, etc. Show them how to fill up a cup and dump it out; they can spend hours laughing about dumping out water!
- Tuck small strips of old towels or rags in tissue box for them to practice pulling out.
- “Chase” them around a couch while they are holding on maintaining balance.
- Stand them against a wall (with nothing around them) and encourage them to walk toward you.
- Provide toys to push and pull around the house.
*Now, as their Gross Motor Skills are strengthening, you want to begin incorporating more Fine Motor Skill Activities into their routine.
If you are worried that your child is not able to do the above activities at the appropriate age range, speak with your pediatrician and check out earlyinterventionsupport.com for more resources!