Motor skills, which are involved in the muscle movement within a child’s body, are divided into two categories: fine motor and gross motor. What’s the difference between the two and what role do they play in your child’s development? All motor skills require the necessary strength, coordination and planning skills in order to be effective.
Gross motor skills are responsible for the coordinated movement of large muscle groups. We use gross motor skills for things such as sitting, standing, walking, running, and keeping our balance. Gross motor skills are often directly impacted by muscle tone development as strength is a key element to successfully utilizing these skills. Fine motor skills are used when we need to make smaller, more precise movements with our muscles. Grasping and controlling objects, such as writing utensils, and being able to pick up small objects between your thumb and forefinger are examples of ways we use fine motor skills.
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s gross motor or fine motor development, it’s always a good idea to speak with your child’s pediatrician and consider scheduling an evaluation for your child. There are many ways that a well-trained therapist can help your child work on these skills in a fun way! The sooner that therapies begin, the sooner your child can develop and use the skills he or she needs to be their best.