What are gross motor skills

Motor and Physical Skills in Preschool Children

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About the author

Alexandra von Plüskow-Kaminski is a primary school teacher. She works on a delegation from the State of Lower Saxony as an education coordinator for the Heidekreis educational landscape. She is currently completing part-time training as a systemic coach and process facilitator.

by Alexandra von Plüskow - Kaminski

© mgorthand - istockphoto.com
Is your child going to school? Then this is definitely an exciting time for you. So many things have to be considered. Started with formalities, school examinations, trial days and buying a satchel. But physical and motor aspects are also of great importance on this path. Read the essentials here.

Physical aspects in school children

About a year before starting school you should - in addition to the regular visit to the pediatrician - visit an ophthalmologist with your child and have a hearing test carried out on your child by the ear, nose and throat specialist. If there are any abnormalities here, these can be caught with the help of the experts in good time before the start of school.

Sports courses and children's gymnastics for toddlers and school children

Some sports clubs offer extra courses for preschool children in which your child develops physical skills and at the same time trains his or her attention and ability to react.
It sounds simple - but the regular visit to playgrounds with its numerous opportunities for climbing, balancing, jumping and running also promotes the physical fitness of your child and is beneficial for body tension and good gross motor skills.

Gross motor skills in toddlers and school children

Many skills and abilities are required in school. For example, in gross motor skills, your child should be able to master simple skills such as standing and hopping on one leg, jumping a short distance, or maintaining balance. You can practice this again and again in a playful way in everyday life. Furthermore, it should be able to react to signals with its body. For example, being able to become still while moving during a stop dance. The rule here is: motivation is everything. You can practice balancing, for example, by sticking a line on the floor using adhesive strips and asking your child to balance over it step by step. This can also be done backwards by having your child orientate themselves with the help of a mirror. Practice throwing and catching with balls of different sizes. Jumping rope also trains stamina, body tension and coordination on the one hand.

Fine motor skills in toddlers and school children

Your child's fine motor skills become important when it comes to writing and painting. First of all, you should teach your child how to hold a pencil correctly at an early stage. In the stationery trade there are special grip aids that can be attached to pens and support this posture. Also, practice holding scissors and cutting. For example along lines or cutting out figures.

Pay attention to the handedness your child is developing early on. If it is left-handed, you should find out from specialist retailers which products are helpful here.

You can playfully train your child's fine motor skills, for example, by letting them move smaller objects from one cup to another with sugar tongs. Pouring water back and forth from one cup to another also promotes coordination and fine motor skills.

Let your child color in pictures over and over again and make sure that he also paints fine individual parts. Tracing lines to form figures also prepares you for writing.

In the age of Velcro, many children find it difficult to tie bows or create knots. You should practice this with your child before starting school.


The following also applies to all exercises: Don't expect too much from your child. Practice on the side, playfully and in small portions. Look forward to every little step you take together day in and day out - on the way to becoming a school child.

Link tips

Language skills of school children

Personal and social skills of school children

Schoolchildren's cognitive skills

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