Gross motor skills are skills using the big muscles of the body, including the core muscles and leg muscles. Gross motor activities include running, jumping, swimming, and climbing. Kids with good gross motor skills tend to be more coordinated and athletic. This leads to improving play skills because they can keep up with peers on the playground, and a healthier lifest‌yle because they get more physical activity. Giving your child time to practice their gross motor skills and get some physical activity each day can lead to better attention during quiet activities, such as school work.

Signing kids up for classes that address gross motor skills benefits kids with good gross motor skills and kids who need some extra practice because physical activity benefits everyone! Classes are a great way to encourage even the most resistant kids to move their body because physical activity is disguised as play and there are lots of other kids around for encouragement. Here are the best classes for gross motor skill development:

Swimming is an excellent opportunity to work on gross motor skills development. Water is more resistant than air, so moving through water takes effort and strengthens muscles. Learning to swim takes a lot of motor planning and requires learning to use your body in a new way. Swimming classes are an especially good option for children who feel insecure about the physical abilities because swimming requires a different skill set than land sports and a child who does not excel at running and jumping may be an excellent swimmer. 

Ball sports include soccer, baseball, basketball, football, and tennis, to name a few. Ball sports are excellent for gross motor skill development because they require a lot of coordination and attention as you have to be aware of where the ball is at all times. In addition to gross motor skills development, ball sports usually involve a team and are therefore a great opportunity to work on social skills. 

Dance classes are a great way to engage children who do not enjoy high energy physical activity in gross motor skill development. While dance, such as hip hop, can be very high energy, there is also an opportunity to try a slower-paced type of dance, such as ballet, without giving up the benefits. All types of dance address gross motor skills and work on strengthening, motor planning, and coordination.  If your child is interested in dance to be sure to allow them the opportunity to try all types in order to find the best fit for them!

Regardless of your child’s gross motor skill level, they are sure to have fun in any of these classes, all of which are available on GoBambino for kids of all ages. Ask your child which one they want to try and get started today!

This post originally appeared on GoBambino.
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