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Why Are Gross Motor Skills Important

Gross Motor Skill development is one of the most important aspects of a Pre Primary school education. At Actionball we take special interest in monitoring and assisting children to develop their Gross Motor Skills. Gross motor control refers to the movements of the large muscles of the body. Gross motor skills include:
• balance – the ability to maintain equilibrium
• body awareness – for improved posture and control crossing of the mid-line
• laterality – awareness of the left and right sides of the body major muscle co-ordination
• spatial orientation – awareness of the body position in space and in relation to other objects or people
Specific Motor Skills should be found at different stages within a child’s development. These skills should be present for a child to be able to progress to the next stage of their over all development. Some of the skills are, for example, balancing on a beam or one foot, jumping on the spot and catching or kicking a ball. These are skills which either come naturally or need to be learned and our aim at Actionball is to provide our children with the best possible access to the equipment which can aid in this part of their development. As a child grows they need to develop these skills for a successful school experience, to improve confidence and to fit in with their peers.
Motor Skill development is as important as Social, Cognitive and general Physical development for an overall happy and balanced child. Without reasonable gross motor skills children often struggle with the fine motor skills that are required for formal school work. Studies have shown that approximately 15% of students attending primary schools experience motor difficulties. Of the students diagnosed as having poor coordination the lowest 5% have severe problems and 10% have moderate problems. The ratio of boys/girls with motor disability is 3:1 In addition to this, 60% of the identified students also have problems in areas such as:
1. Speech
2. Short attention span
3. Poor listening
4. Poor self concept
5. Abnormal or unacceptable behavior
6. Learning problems

We are concentrating more on strengthening of the muscles, good posture and balance.
Please assist us by encouraging your child to sit up straight whether it is at the table eating or in front of the TV. This position strengthens their back, neck and stomach muscles.
You can help your child to feel the right position by simply placing your one hand flat on your child’s lower back and the other on the front of their shoulder/chest, slightly pushing in their back so that they raise themselves. It might be uncomfortable at first, but as their muscles get stronger it becomes easier and more comfortable.

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