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Motor skills are important abilities possessed by every child. By practicing these skills, children can learn to do various things, such as standing, sitting, and playing. Not only that, well-trained motor skills can also support child development
Motor skills are the ability to move body parts, such as the head, lips, tongue, hands, feet, and fingers. These movements are not very visible when a new baby is born, but will slowly begin to form as they grow.
There are two types of motor skills, namely fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills are movements that involve small muscles, such as the fingers.
Fine motor skills allow children to perform various activities, such as writing, drawing, and taking food or drink. Disturbances in this ability can cause children to experience learning disorders, such as writing difficulties or dysgraphia.
Meanwhile, gross motor skills involve the movement of large muscles such as legs, arms, and body muscles. Gross motor skills enable children to perform various activities, such as sitting, crawling, standing, walking, and holding their head and body in position.
How to Develop Children's Motor Skills
Babies generally begin to learn motor skills from the age of 5–6 months. To optimize your little one's motor skills, Mom and Dad can stimulate them with the following games:
1. Arrange blocks
One of the simple games that can train children's motor skills is to arrange blocks. When playing the game, children can train the movement of the muscles of their fingers so they can grip and reach objects well.
Not only that, this game can also stimulate the ability to coordinate body movements. Babies can generally be invited to play with building blocks from the age of 6 or 8 months.
2. Painting or drawing
Through painting or drawing activities, children can train their fingers' ability to grip and move brushes. Not only that, this activity can also cultivate children's imagination and creativity level.
Several studies also show that children who have been taught to paint or draw since childhood have better learning and memory skills. This makes painting or drawing activities can make children smarter.
3. Play with dough
Mom and Dad can also train their little one's motor skills through dough-shaped games, such as candles or clay. In addition, Mother can also invite Little One to play with cookie dough, if he can already eat solid food.
By touching these objects, your little one will be trained to touch, pinch, press, and shape the dough according to the shape he likes. This game can help your little one recognize the texture of the objects around him.
4. Play ball
Children's gross motor skills can be trained by inviting them to play throw and catch the ball. Choose a medium-sized plastic ball that is not too heavy, making it easier for the child to throw, catch, or kick it.
Thus, children practice moving their hands and feet to follow the movement of the ball given.
5. Pulling and pushing toys
When your baby starts learning to walk, give him a toy that can be pushed or pulled. Toys that can be used to train him to pull and push, such as toy cars and large trucks. In addition, Mom and Dad can also invite your little one to play with their favorite doll.
In addition to some of the games above, Mom and Dad can also stimulate your little one's motor skills by inviting him to play outside the house, for example in the yard. When playing outside the house, Mom and Dad can take the Little One to play ball, toy cars, or play chase with the Little One.
Mom and Dad also need to always accompany and take care of the Little One when he plays because the Little One tends to like to put foreign objects in his mouth. This risks choking him.
Inhibited Motor Development
The growth and development of one child with another child is not necessarily the same. There are children whose growth and development are normal, but there are also those who are a little slower than children their age.
However, Mom and Dad don't need to worry about this because delayed motor skills don't always indicate that he is experiencing growth and development problems.
Mom and Dad can continue to accompany the Little One every time he tries to try new things, including when his motor skills are being trained. Appreciate the activities he does by giving applause or encouragement. Thus, your little one will be motivated to try new things.
However, if your little one's growth and development seems very stunted or if Mom and Dad are worried about his condition, try to consult a doctor so that the doctor can evaluate your little one's condition and find out the cause.
If it is detected that your child is experiencing growth and development barriers, the doctor can provide treatment and advice regarding how to train your little one's motor skills and stimulate their growth and development in general.