We all know 3 things:
- Infants have endless energy,
- Every infant wants to play all the time,
- Motor development is vitally important to the wellbeing of our children.
So how can we combine all three into the perfect scenario?
Well with a bit of determination, I've compiled 10 amazing gross motor activities for infants that will keep baby entertained for hours and developing properly whilst doing so!
It's what I like to call a WIN-WIN.
- Baby has fun? Check.
- Parent is satisfied they're developing properly? Check.
- Everyone gets a mental break? CHECK.
10 Utterly Amazing gross motor activities for infants!
So, here are my top 10 gross motor activities for infants that you can do starting right now!
- Foot Rattles
- Pushing and Pulling
- Activity Bags for Sitting
- Baby Walkers
- Climbing the Stairs
- Tunnel Fun
- Ball Play
- Rocking and Ride-On Toys
- Tummy Time
8 gross motor milestones infants will reach
An infant is defined as a baby that is 0-12 months of age. During this first year of life, your little one will reach many important developmental milestones and when it comes to gross motor skills this is what you can expect from a newborn to a 1-year-old.
- Is able to lift head when on stomach
- Can push up with arms when on stomach
- Rolls from back to front
- Can raise head when pulled to a sitting position
- Is able to sit alone
- Can raise their chest and upper abdomen when on tummy
- Cruises around furniture
To discover every milestone your little one will reach in their first year, be sure to download my FREE Printable Developmental Milestone Checklist!
Designed to be a one stop shop for all baby's milestones, I also included a bonus 1st Year Milestones too. Simply enter your email at the top or bottom of this post and you'll have the milestone checklist in your inbox in minutes!
To learn more about child development checklists and how useful they are, check out this post: This Child Development Milestone Checklist Is A Game Changer
Why are gross motor skills important in infants?
Gross motor skills are hugely important as they are the means by which your baby will learn to sit, crawl, pull to stand and walk. In addition, gross motor development establishes the necessary strength and endurance required for the successful development of fine motor skills.
How Are Gross And Fine Motor Skills Different?
Gross motor skills involve large movements that involve using muscles such as crawling, walking, running and kicking.
On the other hand, fine motor skills involve ‘fine’ movement such as grasping or picking objects up between finger and thumb.
Gross and fine motor skills often work hand in hand and frequently need each other to work successfully.
What will gross motor development lead to?
Skills learnt through gross motor activities for infants are linked to your baby learning the skills of:
- Body awareness,
- Physical strength,
- Reaction time.
Developed gross motor skills also lead to your infant being able to:
- Crawl - which strengthens hands and fingers in preparation for drawing and writing,
- Pull to stand - which also develops balance,
- Cruise around furniture - which develops balance and planning ahead,
- Walk - which also improves balance and planning,
- Running and jumping,
- Throwing and kicking - which develops hand-eye coordination.
For more information about the importance of understanding your infant’s development pop over to my Beginners Guide To Child Development post to learn more.
What to do if your infant shows gross motor skill developmental delays?
As with everything, babies develop at their own pace and some infants will sit, crawl and walk before others.
Some infants will sit on schedule but not want to crawl for ages while others may speed through these stages and then take ages to learn how to walk.
However, if you suspect that your little one is really behind in their gross motor development then you should seek medical advice.
Your doctor or paediatrician may recommend that you see a physical therapist or they may even give you certain targeted activities that you can practise with your baby at home.
There are few rare conditions that affect gross motor development but in most cases, practise and ensuring you are giving your baby the opportunities to develop their gross motor skills is all that is required.
If you have any further questions about gross motor activities for infants, be sure to drop me an email at [email protected] and let me know! I'll be happy to help.
I hope you enjoyed this post and if you enjoyed this content, be sure to share it around as it helps me produce more content for you!And until next time, with love and support, Happy Parenting!