Gross Motor skills involve using large muscle groups that are used for sitting, standing, walking. Fine motor skills are those that involve fingers , hands used to pick up objects, draw, eat , write. As your baby’s muscle system and nervous system start getting in sync, their movements change from jerky to more smooth. Some activities that help in developing motor skills in babies are:
Tummy Time : Take some time everyday to do tummy time with baby. Place the baby on his stomach and keep colourful toys, books in front of him to keep him engaged. You can also sing to the baby so that he tries to hold up his head to watch you. Tummy time strengthens neck, back and shoulder muscles which are used for sitting up and rolling.
Rattle Play : A rattle is a very good toy to strengthen those arm muscles. As the baby tries to shake the toy , you can gently tug on it . It will help baby build muscle as he tries to resist your effort.
Tower of blocks: By the time baby is 6 months, they can roll over and do mini pushups as they get ready to crawl. Place a tower of blocks in front just within reach so that baby is motivated to knock it down.
Finger Food: Babies love to explore food , mash it, squeeze it and sometimes eat it ! After 8 months of age you can start giving finger food like potato strips, boiled carrot, baby puffs. As the baby tries to grab and hold these, it will develop fine motor skills which will later be used in drawing, writing, holding objects.
Ball Play : As baby’s hand eye coordination grows, they will get better at playing throw and catch. Encourage baby to roll the ball towards you as you hand back the ball to him.
Animal Pull : Once the baby is crawling or walking they love pushing and pulling toys around. Tie a string to animals toys and let them take their animals for a walk around the house.
Reach high : Once baby is able to stand with support or if you have a walker, place toys a bit high so that baby has to reach out to grab it. Its great exercise for entire core including hands, arms, legs and core.