By the time they reach two years of age, almost all children are able to stand up, walk, run, climb stairs, and etc. These gross movements come from large muscle groups and whole body movement. These skills develop in a head-to-toe order. A child will typically learn head control first, then trunk stability and then standing up to walk. Babies need to practice their skills, whereby they will grow and strengthen better. They need space and time to explore their environment and use their muscles.
The standard gross motor skills developments are:
0 months to 12 months
At first, they are only able to lie on their belly on the floor but by around two months, they start to gain sufficient muscle control to raise their head and chest off the ground. By four months they are able to start to control their head and hold it steady while sitting up. At about five months a baby will start to wiggle the limbs to strengthen crawling muscles. Infants can start to sit up by themselves and put some weight on their legs as they hold onto something for support by six months. They are able to reach and play with their toys too. Around ten months they should be able to stand on their own.
Babies become more active as they enter their first year. Walking upright requires being able to stand up and balance position from one foot to the other. Learning to walk is usually done by observing the people around. Babies will imitate others, picking up the skills a lot faster than creating their own errors. Parents can help the child practice by telling the baby the direction of where the object is and encourage him/ her to get it.
13 months to 24 months
In the second year of their life toddlers normally become quite skilful and mobile too. They no longer want to be confined to a particular play area. The motor activity during the second year is vital to the child’s competent development. By 13 to 18 months, toddlers can move up and down steps and carry toys. Near the end of their second year, complex gross motor skills begin to develop including throwing and kicking. Their skills become more natural.
25 months to 36 months
As a preschooler, the child does not need any help standing alone or moving quickly. At 3 years of age, children enjoy simple movements, such as hopping, jumping, and running back and forth.
Throughout the years of life different motor skills are formed and developed continuously. Helping a child succeed in gross motor tasks requires patience. Parents must understand the child’s level of development before helping him/ her master gross motor skills.