Using Playgro toys to aid Fine and Gross motor skills
As a newborn, your little one is not mature enough to handle skilled movement and needs to develop these controlled skills. As your baby grows, they learn many new skills from simply playing with objects around them. Often development starts at the top (with the eyes, mouth and head) and then moves down the body. The Playgro range of toys has been specially developed to help your little one hone their motor skills. Use our tips to stimulate your child and help your little one develop strength and coordination.
What is the difference between fine and gross motor skills:
A motor skill is just an action requiring the use of muscles. We can then further divide these skills into 2 groups: Gross and Fine. The expression is that before you learn to walk, you must first crawl. The same is true with motor skills. Before you have control over your fingers you must have control over your arms, and then over your hands. In this way gross motor skills will often develop before fine motor skills, for example your child will be able to lift their arm before they can wave. As your little one heads to toddlerhood, they will need both skills to work together. Encourage your child’s development by playing games and making learning fun. Let them learn at their own pace and create a bit of a challenge (not too much that they give up easily) so that your child is stimulated. By offering a variety of games and toys you will help your child develop new skills.
Gross Motor Skills:
Gross Motor skills are used for larger movements like walking, jumping, dancing and crawling. They involve the arms, legs, feet or even the entire body to complete an action. By developing these motor skills you can help your child easily progress from crawling to walking by developing their strength and coordination. These skills help in later life too, in any physical activity such as sport.
There are many ways to develop gross motor skills, a good focus for infants is Tummy Time. (For more info on Tummy Time click here.) Experts advise using different exercises and positions to stimulate the different muscles groups. For example seat your little one on the floor and encourage them to reach for a toy. Show your child what to do and then encourage them to repeat the actions independently. This act of mimicking really helps to develop motor skills and strength.
Fine Motor Skills:
Fine Motor Skills often require more practice and a bit more coordination. Eventually these motor skills will lead to your toddler dressing themselves, feeding themselves and learning to draw and write. The Playgro range of toys use different textures and materials to encourage tactile stimulation. Fine Motor skills are generally thought to be fingers or toes but can also include lips and tongue.
Ways to improve fine motor skills include letting your child handle lots of objects of different sizes and textures. By playing with these objects or toys they will develop strength in their hands and fingers and become more dexterous. Games that help with fine motor skills include playing with blocks and stacking them (such as the Playgro Soft Blocks), rolling balls (like the Playgro Explor-a-ball, Bendy Ball and Soccer Ball.) and moving beads (like the Playgro Twirly Whirl Rattle).
Our Playgro Range easily shows you what skills the toy will help to develop by featuring a system of icons that are age appropriate for the particular stage of development.
Some of the Playgro Developmental icons include: