Motor Skill Development for Children

Why Gym 1?

Many parents worry about whether or not their children are hitting their motor skill milestones on time. These milestones give parents an insight into the rate at which their child is developing. Research has shown that there are exercises and activities that you can do to improve motor skill development, which can lead to a more active adolescence. Gym 1 makes it easy to perform a wide variety of assisted and unassisted exercises with your child.

The exercises below were developed to help children stay active and have fun, while also improving these vital skills: core strength, coordination, grip and reflex strength, upper body strength, climbing, tumbling, body awareness, and blood flow stimulation. The development of these skills can have lasting benefits for your child. Most importantly, it provides a fun and safe way to stay active.

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Toddlers (Age 1 – 3)

Exercises With All 5 Attachments:

Swing

Swinging is as beneficial to child development as it is fun. Swinging requires motor coordination and balance to learn how to pump properly. It also helps to improve body awareness. Receptors in the brain let us know where different parts of our body are in space. Even for individuals that don’t process the world around them as efficiently as others, swinging can stimulate their sense of motion and spatial awareness and improve their sense of vestibular orientation.

Rings

Along with improving your child’s grip reflex and strength, the rings are a great way to improve your child’s upper body strength, coordination and balance because of the way the rings move.

Ladder

The ladder exercises can add another dimension to improving core strength and balance. Using the ladder like a swing can help your child get more comfortable with it until they are ready to climb.

Rope

Toddlers can use the rope to practice their grip reflex and assisted climbing.

Trapeze

The trapeze exercises below incorporate grip reflexes and balance.

Preschool (Age 3 – 5)

Exercises With All 5 Attachments:

Swing:

Swinging is a great way to improve balance and coordination, which can lead to greater athletic and physical development in the future.

Rings:

Along with being a useful tool for motor skill development, the ring exercises are also great for boosting confidence because of the increased level of difficulty.

Ladder:

The ladder exercises can be used to show your child measurable ways that they are getting stronger and improving their coordination and balance by assisting them less and less as they improve.

Rope:

These exercises are an excellent way to build upper body strength. The rope exercises allow you to provide as much or as little assistance to your child as they climb and hold on.

Trapeze:

The trapeze can be a useful tool to improve grip strength, upper body strength, and core strength – all at once! All of these muscle groups are engaged while your child swings from the trapeze.

Primary School (Age 5 – 8)

Exercises With All 5 Attachments:

Swing:

With older children you can get more creative with your swing exercises because their core and upper body are more developed. To improve their core muscles and balance even more, try exercises while standing or laying flat on the swing, as shown below.

Ladder:

Using the ladder attachment is perfect for improving your child’s climbing skills. Climbing improves balance, motor skills, physical fitness, coordination and spatial awareness.

Rings:

The movement and balance required to complete the exercises for the rings attachment may be challenging to some children – but that is what makes it even more rewarding! Practicing flips on the rings will help to improve your child’s spatial awareness, while holding themselves up will improve upper body strength and balance.

Rope:

These rope exercises can be utilized to improve your child’s upper body strength and coordination. Upper body strength and stability is important when doing everyday tasks; it helps your child control their arms and shoulders when doing activities such as drawing, cutting, and writing. Having good coordination improves balance, spatial awareness, and the ability to react to audio and visual stimuli.

Trapeze:

A wide range of exercises can be done on the with children ages 5 – 9. The different grip positions allow them to strengthen different groups of upper body muscles, while the act of swinging while switching engages their core, upper body, and grip, while improving their coordination.

The Benefits

Improving the skills listed below can do wonders to start your child on the path to an active and healthy lifestyle.

Core Strength: All movement originates at the core. A strong core leads to better posture, balance, and decreased risk of injury. Core muscles include your abdominal, along with the muscles around your back, hips and pelvis. These muscles keep your core stable while your limbs are active.

Coordination: Improves balance, spatial awareness, and the ability to react to audio and visual stimuli.

Grip Reflex and Grip Strength: The reflex to grab something as it touches your palm is present as early as 16 weeks old. Grip strength is required for many day to day activities as your child grows older.

Upper Body Strength: Upper body strength and stability is important when doing everyday tasks; it helps your child control their arms and shoulders when doing activities such as drawing, cutting, and writing.

Blood Flow Stimulation: Studies have shown that aerobic activity increases blood flow to the brain. In children, this has lead to superior scholastic achievement, cognitive control, and memory.

Climbing: Improves balance, motor skills, physical fitness, coordination and spatial awareness.

Tumbling: Improves motor skills, body awareness and control, strength, and flexibility.

Body Awareness: Helps to understand concepts like distance, speed and placement (over, under, behind etc.)