Toys and play are important in helping your child grow and develop skills, learn about their surroundings and thrive. When your child navigates through the playground, he uses and develops his motor and tactile skills.
Gross motor skills enable your child to perform daily tasks so get your child moving! Build routines, encourage your child to engage in a physical play and activities,
Bring your child to the park, let them climb the ladders, ride a bike, run and perform complex physical movements such as playing catch with friends.
Tactile activities are essential in developing your child’s physical abilities. Hands-on activities that involve art, painting, tracing letters and others, help your child understand different textures, temperature, and they gather multiple informative cues about their surroundings.
Activities to promote tactile skills
Puzzles involve matching shapes, textures, and patterns. This challenges your child’s mind and hands as they manipulate and assemble the pieces. Puzzles also make interesting tactile sensations as the pieces come together.
Let your child do art activities that involve materials of various shapes and textures like slime, clay, sand, beads, and buttons.
Finger painting is also a good tactile activity your kids will enjoy.
Cooking activities like kneading dough or sifting flour, creating cookie doughs or meatballs with hands promote your child’s tactile skills. Cooking needs hand skills. When your kids perform simulated hand actions when cooking, they start to build strength, develop motor skills and hand dexterity.
Organizing/ sorting tasks
Organizing stuff, sorting things or objects such as forks and spoons, fruits and vegetables is one of the tactile activities your child should be involved in to promote their gross and tactile skills.
Set up fun treasure hunt activities for your child outside where he or she can run, climb, and explore the surroundings. Put obstacles, hide objects under bins, let your child roam around, and touch things.
Best toys and play to promote gross motor skills
Stacking blocks in various shapes and sizes requires motor skills. This activity develops and refines your kids motor skills and wrist control.
They also develop their grasps from gross grasp, used when squeezing all of the fingers to shut around an object like scissor use, to a radial palmar grasp in which the index and middle fingers curl around an object with the thumb beginning to oppose and press the object into the radial side of the palm.
Clay and dough
Playing with clay or dough is a great sensory experience. Rolling, smushing, stretching and cutting play dough tunes your child’s motor skills and gives them prioceptive and tactile feedback.
Encourage your child to pound the clay or dough then squash and flatten it.. They can also break off the blobs and roll to make a ball. This is a great activity where your kids can use both hands and use their hand strength.
Balls can be used in many ways. Ball games such as catch, throwing or kicking ball at a target will help your child develop hand-eye and hand-feet coordination as well as their endurance and strength that later on will be beneficial in managing their physical needs.
Yoga balls are also great gross motor skill activities to improve your child’s core stability and balance. Try using different ball sizes like tennis balls, football or basketball.
Bouncing or jumping on a trampoline is a fun activity that requires rhythm, balance, and coordination. It is a muscle-building activity that your child should be involved in.
Playing on a trampoline allows kids to use their muscles in the torso, arms, legs, and back while they move, twist,and turn.
Tug of War
Tug of war is a test of strength.
This hands-on activity improves your child’s motor skills because they need to work on weight shifting, muscle strength, and core strength. Your kids will also gain voluntary control of arm movements and body awareness.
Gross motor and tactile skills can be developed in lots of different ways. Make sure to give your child the right toys and activities that will challenge their strength and skills.
The physical environment also plays a key role so your kid’s gross motor and tactile skills will grow by leaps and bounds. Bring them to places where they can run, jump, hide and crawl. Get them to discover nature, touch rocks of various sizes and textures, play with sand and mud and feel different temperatures.
Kids learn best through exploration and self-discovery. They may stumble and fall, but giving them freedom to move, experiment, and explore will keep them in an optimal state of learning.