As your baby becomes a toddler, they will grow physically stronger and will gain a better grasp of the movements they started when they were smaller. For example, their walk will start looking more like "one foot in front of the other" instead of a waddle. Soon, your growing toddler will gain more strength and coordination, learning aim and how to throw and catch among other activities. You can encourage their physical development with exercises and activities that nurture their gross and fine motor skills.
Gross motor skills involve larger movements using the whole body, while fine motor skills are more precise and will only use a portion, like the hands and fingers.
To help your child learn both skills, incorporate Albert Bandura's theory of observational learning (quoted below from a Cliffs Notes article):
- Observe the behavior in others.
- Form a mental image of the behavior.
- Imitate the behavior.
- Practice the behavior.
- Be motivated to repeat the behavior.
To nurture your child's gross motor development, try these efforts:
Help your child develop their fine motor skills with these activities:
If you're wondering what developmental milestones your child should be at for their age, check with your pediatrician. He or she knows your child's medical history and can provide the most accurate assessment. For a quick check online, you can reference Gracepoint Wellness' article here.