There’s nothing more amazing than watching your precious little ones grow into their bodies. As parents, we marvel at what they do and what they learn every day. Through natural development and the right encouragement much of the physical progress we observe, from babyhood to beyond, comes naturally. However, other skills do need some assistance in order to develop properly, explains Michael McCarthy of Ready Steady Go Kids. And this is when introducing sports and exercise can really help.
Gross motor skills, such as crawling, walking and running, come first and are followed later on by fine motor skills including holding a pencil and cutting with scissors – techniques which are carefully taught. Giving kids the right assistance to achieve all that their little bodies were designed to do will ensure their physical capabilities blossom to full potential. And you really don’t have to search very far to ensure your tots are given all the right opportunities to learn.
Introducing your youngster to sport and exercise is a terrific step in the right direction. Gross motor skills – running, crawling, galloping and jumping – are the easiest for your young one to do. Once they have mastered these skills, children can be taught to walk sideways, skip, hop and jump backwards.
Balance and posture activities, such as beanbag balancing, heel-toe walking along lines and balance obstacle courses, are also a great way to extend these skills. Meanwhile, fine motor skills can be developed through activities such as ball bouncing, ball rolling and throwing.
The earlier we can start teaching children skills using the fundamentals of sport, the greater the chance they will develop a lifelong passion for sports and exercise. It’s also a great way to ensure their gross and fine motor skills develop the way they should.
If you are unsure how you can personally help your child develop their skills – although simply throwing and kicking a ball in the backyard can certainly help them – there are many sporting clubs across Sydney which your child can attend during school terms and school holidays, including those that offer a variety of sports to work on different parts of the mind and body. A structured sports program, run by professionals who work with kids everyday, is ideal for teaching the right balance of skills children require. Not to mention that in a sporting program your child is bound to have loads of fun making new friends in a healthy environment.
Being involved in sport from an early age can really do wonders for any child in terms of their motor and social skills, and general wellbeing. So get your little one out there and into it and make the most of their incredible potential!
A program like Ready Steady Go Kids (RSGK) is a great place to start. It is a physio-designed multisport program for 2.5- to six-year-olds that introduces them to 10 different sports in a fun, social environment. For more information about RSGK, you can visit the website or call 1300 766 892 to find your nearest location (enrolments are now open for this year). Michael McCarthy is the Ready Steady Go Kids franchisee for Lane Cove and Thornleigh.
How are you using sport and exercise to help develop your children’s motor skills? Let us know in the comments section below.
Want more sport for kids? Also take a look at JAN SCHOOL HOLIDAYS KIDS’ SPORT CAMPS!