What is Physical Development?
Physical Development is one of the multiple developmental domains of infant and toddler.Physical activities involve using large and small muscles along with senses and help achieve the relevant developmental milestones. Physical activities also help in developing two types of skills : gross motor skills and fine motor skills.
What are Gross Motor Skills?
Gross motor skills involve movements of large muscles of the arms, legs and torso.Kids require Gross Motor skills to do regular activities in school and at home. Activities like crawling, walking, running, jumping, climbing etc require Gross Motor skills. Majority of outdoor games help in developing these Skills.
What are Fine Motor Skills?
Fine Motor skills also called dexterity is the coordination of small muscles in movements usually involving synchronisation and coordination of hands and fingers with eyes. These skills help in doing activities like tying shoelaces, putting shirt buttons, holding pen and so on and so forth.
During early stages of child development, exposing children to right kind of toys will help them with their gross motor development as well as develop their fine motor skills. Toys can be introduced as early as three months. Lets look at some toys that are easily available and play a vital role in your toddler’s overall physical growth and development.
Toys that aid in developing Gross Motor Skills
Riding a tricycle makes use of large muscles and helps in achieving hand and leg coordination. Young children enjoy riding tricycles and this is one of the best toys you can give your toddler. As the child grows, they can switch to bicycles to fine tune their skills.
Image Source: southpaw
Babies show off their kicking skills right from the time they are in tummy.
When children play with football they use leg muscles to kick, run and hand muscles to hold the ball. While kicking and running strengthen their large muscles, holding ball develops their small muscles. Football also helps them develop good hand and eye coordination
3. Hoola Hoops:
Hoola Hoops can be used in many ways to play. Children use their abdomen, hand and leg muscles with Hoops. This also increases their muscle flexibility and strengthens their large muscles.
4. Beam Balance:
Beam Balance is an excellent way to develop body balance. This is generally used in preschools to develop Gross Motor skills in children. The balancing act is also a physical therapy for children since it helps them to focus, control their muscles and coordinate their hands, legs and eyes to get control of their body.
Trampoline is a fun way to exercise and channelise the ton of energy that toddlers have. They use their muscles to jump, fall and get up. The use of hands and legs help them build strength in their muscles and hence is a great source for developing Gross Motor Skills.
Toys that aid in developing Fine Motor Skills
6. Rock a Stack:
Stacking blocks or rocks is an excellent indoor game that helps children build fine motor skills. Children use their fingers and hands to pick the rocks and use their hand and eye coordination along with brains to balance the stack. This helps in strengthening their fine muscles.
Image Source: groupon
7. Wooden Knob Puzzles:
Children use the tip of their fingers to pick the puzzle piece and use their hand and eye coordination skill to place it in the right groove. This is an excellent way to develop small muscles and enhance fine motor skills apart from cognitive skills and brain development.
Image Source: curiouskidstoys
Children love to copy adults and hence enjoy scribbling. Doodle gives them an amazing space to scribble and clear as and how they want. Children hold the doodle pen using their index finger, tall finger and thumb in coordination to scribble. This again strengthens their small muscles and is an amazing fine motor activity.Doodling also brings out children’s creativity and imagination alive.
9. Standing Easels:
Easels are vertical surfaces that come in many variations. Some have abacus beads, some have drawing boards while others have pattern tiles. All these easels require children to stand which means it helps in developing their core muscles. Children use their hands, fingers and hand eye coordination to draw, solve patterns or do abacus. While abacus can be used at a later stage, pattern tiles and drawing canvas are a great way to develop brain.
10. Lego Duplos:
Lego Duplo is a perfect toy for toddlers to enhance and build fine motor skills. It makes them use their small muscles to pick the pieces and join together with strength, hence empowering their muscles. Children can either play this alone or in a group hence boosting their social development skills as well.
Markets are flooded with toys. While it could get tempting to pamper your child with every possible toy on the shelf, it is very important to pick the right one because toys play a vital role in shaping a child’s personality and developing the right skills.
Also read: 6 Things To Consider When Choosing Toys