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Gross Motor Skills & Development for Infants

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What are gross motor skills? Gross motor skills involve the larger, stronger muscle groups.

In early child development, it’s the development of these muscles that enable infants to hold their head up, sit up independently, crawl, and eventually walk, run, jump and skip.

Learn about the gross motor skill development for infants from 0-21 months old in this presentation. We've also included activities you can do with your baby to help encourage the development of their gross motor skills.

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Gross Motor Skills & Development for Infants

  1. 1. + Gross Motor Skills & Development for Infants Gross Motor Milestones for Babies 0-12 Months
  2. 2. + What Are Gross Motor Skills?  Gross motor skills involve the larger, stronger muscle groups.  These skills include the way a person uses his arms, legs, or whole body to make movements.   In early child development, it’s the development of these muscles that enable infants to:  hold their head up,  sit up independently,  crawl and eventually walk, run, jump and skip. www.earlyinterventionsupport.com
  3. 3. + Infants Aged 0-3 Months Gross Motor Milestones  Important visual skills emerge during the first 3 months. These contribute to the child’s ability to reach motor milestones.  At 3 months, most babies can:  Turn their heads to both sides when on their backs  Lift their head when held at your shoulder  Move their arms equally and begin to “bat” at toys presented near them  Lift their heads up to a 45 degree angle while on their belly  Bring their hands to the middle of their body while on their back when presented with a toy www.earlyinterventionsupport.com
  4. 4. + Infants Aged 0-3 Months  For an infant under three months, gently flex your baby’s legs in a bicycle movement while she is on her back.  Gentle neck exercises. Help your infant reach for a rattle held above his chest. Or, make some silly sounds to encourage your infant to lift his head.  Babies need variety. Put your infant in different positions when he’s awake so he can move his arms and legs in different directions (Always stay with your baby and watch him when placed on his stomach). www.earlyinterventionsupport.com Gross Motor Skills Development Activities
  5. 5. + Infants Aged 3-6 Months  At 6 months, most babies can do the following:  Hold their heads up when being held in a sitting position  Roll  Push themselves up onto their arms when on belly  Pivot body when on belly  Sit momentarily when leaning on hands www.earlyinterventionsupport.com Gross Motor Milestones
  6. 6. + Infants Aged 3-6 Months  Place your infant on her belly and help her reach a rattle out in front.  Have fun with bubbles! Encourage your infant to move his arms by blowing bubbles and showing him how to swat at them.  Turn yourself into a chair for your infant. Sit behind your infant for support, and let him hold a toy or a soft book. You can whisper in his ear, gently kiss his cheek – anything to let your baby know he is loved.  Help your infant stand. Place her on your knees and gently hold her up to a standing position. This will strengthen your infant’s legs and help to gain balance to see the world in a new perspective.  Babies love to bounce. Hold your infant’s hands to help her stand up on the floor, your lap or the sofa. Watch your baby smile as she bounces up and down. www.earlyinterventionsupport.com Gross Motor Skills Development Activities
  7. 7. + Infants Aged 6-9 Months  From 6 to 9 months, your infant is turning into a little explorer. Once his legs are strong, he might enjoy standing, so put some toys on the sofa or a low table, to encourage reaching for them.  Create an obstacle course. A few pillows and blankets on the floor make crawling much more exciting.  Let your child create her own obstacle course. She will crawl under tables and behind chairs, so make sure those areas are safe and clean.  Once your child can sit alone, give her toys. No need to run to the store – simply give him or her a shiny pot lid. Your child will enjoy seeing her reflection and making music when banging on it. www.earlyinterventionsupport.com Gross Motor Skills Development Activities
  8. 8. + Infants Aged 9-12 Months  At one year old, most babies can do the following gross motor skills:  Sit without support  Crawl  Pull up to a standing position  Stand for a few seconds  Walk while holding something for support  Imitate you as you roll a ball www.earlyinterventionsupport.com Gross Motor Milestones
  9. 9. + Infants Aged 9-12 Months  A tunnel can be made by placing a sheet over a table. Turn this into a game by calling your baby’s name and rewarding her with kisses when she comes out of the tunnel.  Turn changing diapers into a mini workout. When your baby is kicking her legs, start singing a song. When she stops kicking, you stop singing. When she starts kicking, you start singing again.  Containers are great toys. Now that your baby can sit, put a large see- through container in front of him with plastic lids, blocks, anything that will fit in the container. Your baby will love putting things into the bowl and dumping them out.  Turn bath time into fun time. Measuring cups and plastic funnels are great in the tub. Or, take a small plastic watering can and making it ‘rain’ during bath time. www.earlyinterventionsupport.com Gross Motor Skills Development Activities
  10. 10. + Want to learn more about gross motor skills for infants, toddlers, and children? Visit our website at www.earlyinterventionsupport.com! www.earlyinterventionsupport.com

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