Why we do it

The Benefits

Active Children are Healthy Children

Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor (physical) skills are those which require whole body movement and which involve the large (core stabilising) muscles of the body to perform everyday functions, such as standing, walking, running, and sitting upright. It also includes hand-eye coordination such as ball skills (throwing, catching, kicking).

Why are gross motor skills important?

Gross motor skills are important to enable children to perform every day functions, such as walking, running, skipping, as well as playground skills (e.g. climbing) and sporting skills (e.g. catching, throwing and hitting a ball with a bat). These are crucial for everyday self care skills like dressing (where you need to be able to stand on one leg to put your leg into a pant leg without falling over).

Gross motor abilities also have an influence on other everyday functions. For example, a child’s ability to maintain table top posture (upper body support) will affect their ability to participate in fine motor skills (e.g. writing, drawing and cutting) and sitting upright to attend to class instruction, which then impacts on their academic learning. Gross motor skills impact on your endurance to cope with a full day of school (sitting upright at a desk, moving between classrooms, carrying your heavy school bag).

Building blocks necessary to develop gross motor skills include:

  • Muscular strength: An ability to exert force against resistance.
  • Muscular endurance: Ability of a muscle or group of muscles to exert force repeatedly against resistance.
  • Motor (muscle) planning: The ability to move the body with appropriate sequencing and timing to perform bodily movements with refined control.
  • Motor learning: A change in motor behaviour resulting from practice or past experience.
  • Postural control: The ability to stabilize the trunk and neck to enable coordination of other limbs.
  • Sensory processing: Accurate registration, interpretation and response to sensory stimulation in the environment and one’s own body.
  • Body awareness: Knowing body parts and understanding the body’s movement in space in relation to other limbs and objects.
  • Balance: The ability to maintain position whether that is static, dynamic (moving) or rotational.
  • Coordination: Ability to integrate multiple movements into efficient movement.
  • Crossing Midline: The ability to cross the imaginary line running from a person’s nose to pelvis that divides the body into left and right sides.
  • Proprioception: This is information that the brain receives from our muscles and joints to make us aware of body position and body movement.
  • Muscle Tone: The resting muscle tension of a muscle which is the continuous and passive partial contraction of the muscles.

Body

  • Increase Cardiovascular fitness
  • Improve coordination and balance
  • Reduced risk of obesity
  • Strength
  • Balance
  • Flexibility
  • Promotes healthy growth for;
    • Bones
    • Muscles
    • Ligaments
    • Tendons

Mind

  • Gross Motor-skills
  • Improve sleep
  • Learn Colours
  • Learn basic Counting
  • Agility

Soul

  • Learn to work as part of a team
  • Improve social skills
  • Improve personal skills including;
    • Leadership
    • Confidence

Locomotor Skills

These are the skills students develop whilst travelling, such as;

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Hopping
  • Jumping
  • Leaping
  • Rolling
  • Skipping
  • Galloping
  • Climbing
  • Sliding

Nonlocomotor Skills

These are the skills students develop while moving but remaining in one spot

  • Turning
  • Twisting
  • Swinging
  • Balancing
  • Bending
  • Landing
  • Stretching
  • Curling
  • Hanging

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