These tootsies were made for walking! Baby’s first few months of life are filled with plenty of milestones and changes; some of those big changes include the development of motor skills. There are two main types of motor skill development. Read on to learn what they are, plus some tips for developing them!
Gross, or large motor skills are developing the ability to do large body movements. For infants, this includes holding up their head, sitting, pulling themselves up, rolling over, and walking.
Fine motor skills are skills on, you guessed it, a smaller level. These skills include eye-hand coordination, reaching, and using hands to eat, draw, play, or pick up things.
Activities to develop baby’s motor skills
Introduce the groove – Just because your little one can’t walk or crawl yet, doesn’t mean they can’t practice their skills! Introduce them to movements by lying them on their back and moving their legs into bicycle movements. This will familiarize their muscles with the motion. You can also lift their head for periods of time. Tummy time anyone? Placing baby on their belly regularly exercises their back and neck muscles.
All roads lead to toys – Once your baby is able to roll over and sit with support it’s time to teach the crawl. A fool-proof way to encourage them to move in a specific direction is by placing them on their belly and holding a toy just out of reach. Think of it visually as someone on a treadmill chasing food in front of them. If they want something bad enough, they’ll get there one way or another! Got crawling down? To encourage standing, place a toy on slightly higher surfaces such as a couch, chair or low table. Just be sure to protect your little one from any sharp edges!
Inspector Gadget – Spark curiosity by placing a bunch of objects in random safe places, at different heights. This is a fun way for them to discover something new, whether they’re crawling, sitting or standing.
Food Buffet – Grab an ice cube tray or a container with multiple parts (such as our Multiportions) and place different finger foods throughout. This will help them develop fine motor skills, also known as the ‘pincer grasp.’ This movement helps set baby up to start solids, too!