Gross motor skills are considered to be the skills that require the large muscles of the body. These are skills such as rolling, sitting, walking, climbing, running, jumping, skipping, riding a bicycle, and jumping rope. Many things are required for good gross motor skills. A child must not only have adequate muscle tone and strength, but he must have the body awareness to develop the appropriate coordination. The proprioceptive, vestibular and tactile systems help the body to know where it is in space, how to move, and when to move, in order to produce an efficient motor response. For example, to do jumping jacks, a child must have the skills to move the arms and the legs, and the timing of when to move them, to produce a smooth, coordinated movement. The ability to catch a ball requires the use of the previously mentioned sensory systems along with the visual system. The eyes are used to help the body coordinate its movements. Then the body must have the ability to know how far to move the arms, and when to move them, in order to catch the ball. If a child is not processing sensory information accurately, then it will be difficult to produce smooth, coordinated movements. Gross motor delays can prevent a child from participating in activities at school or home. Delays in these areas can lead to decreased self esteem, as well.
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