Parenting tips: Here's how parents can help children in developing motor skills

Updated on Jul 20, 2022 09:09 AM IST

The first 5 years are crucial for the development of children in areas such as a motor (physical), communication and language, cognitive and social and emotional. Here's the importance of motor skills and physical development in children and how parents can help

Parenting tips: Here's how parents can help children in developing motor skills (Kampus Production)
Parenting tips: Here's how parents can help children in developing motor skills (Kampus Production)
ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi

Motor development tends to not only involve physical activities but even the child’s brain and motor skills help connect the child to new experiences. So, when a pre-schooler learns how to jump or even kick a ball, it allows him/her to play sports with other kids and learn new skills and social activities.

The first five years are crucial for the development of children. Moreover, the development is seen in the areas such as a motor (physical), communication and language, cognitive and social and emotional. To know more about the importance of motor skills and physical development in children and how parents can help and pay attention to child’s health, we got an expert on board to spill the beans.

What exactly is motor development?

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Tushar Parikh, Consultant Neonatologist and Paediatrician at Motherhood Hospital in Pune's Kharadi, explained, “It means the physical growth and strengthening of the baby's bones and muscles, and helping him/her to move. Did you know? Motor development can be classified into two categories- the first is the fine motor and the second is the gross motor.”

He elaborated, “Fine motor skills are small movements in the hands, wrists, fingers, feet, toes, lips and tongue. Gross motor skills will allow one to develop muscles that enable babies to hold up their heads, sit and crawl and then walk, run, jump and skip. The development begins from the inner body, along with the head, neck, arms and legs and then moves to the outer body such as hands, feet, fingers, and toes.”

Why child needs motor skills?

According to Dr Tushar Parikh, a child needs motor skills to move and do his/her tasks independently, to develop cognitive, speech and sensory development, to enhance confidence and independence, achieve developmental milestones and even prevent early motor delays and conditions that can hamper one’s development. He pointed out, “Parents will have to work on the motor skills on a daily basis.”

Tips for parents:

Talking about the right time for the baby to develop motor skills, Dr Tushar Parikh said, “It will be imperative for parents to see that the child develops skills as soon as he/she begins to move. You will have to encourage children to keep moving, try and hold things, jump and play on a daily basis.”

Advising how parents can help their children, he suggested, “Place the baby on his/her tummy, and help him/her reach for a toy. You will have to note the baby’s actions and efforts to do so. Do not panic if the baby falls. Try to place a mat or a rug so that the baby doesn't get hurt. Keep the toy on the couch for the child to stretch toward when he/she starts to stand. Make sure to encourage the child to walk, and visit playgrounds and the garden. This will be helpful in the overall growth and development of the child.”

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