What are Motor Skills?
There are two kinds of motor skills, fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Children improve in both of these motor skill areas during the toddler years. The difference between fine and gross motor skills is simple to remember. Gross motor skills involve the large muscles in the body, and fine motor skills involve the small muscles in the hands and fingers.
Some examples of activities which involve gross motor skills or large muscles are, bike riding, running, kicking a ball, climbing, jumping, walking, throwing, jumping jacks, skipping, dancing, etc.
Some examples of activities which involve fine motor skills or small muscles are, cutting with scissors, coloring, scribbling, lacing, puzzle activities, turning pages in a book, etc.
Giving children the tools, space, and time they need to develop these skills is very important because during the toddler years these physical skills will develop following a sequential pattern. For example, a baby will learn to crawl before they walk, and walk before they learn how to run. By learning and practicing one skill, it reinforces another skill.