Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Download this course

Share this free course

Supporting physical development in early childhood
Supporting physical development in early childhood

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

5.1 Gross motor skills

When babies are born, they are able to do a few things, breath, cry, suck and move their legs in alternating patterns (Hayward and Getchell, 2014).

Baby/toddler lying on back, rolling, crawling, kneeling, standing
Figure 8

As you are aware, this does not mean that they are able to walk straight away! With time they acquire and refine FMS, strength and stability. These skills are vital to their development towards overall locomotion, object control and stabilisation. Being able to identify what FMS individual babies, toddlers and young children should be acquiring through rehearsal and refinement at specific ages is useful to all those supporting physical development.

Activity 3

Guest users do not have permission to interact with embedded questions.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

When babies and young children are learning the gross FMS, it is important to note that they do not need to be forced into actions, e.g. sitting up, crawling or walking. Supporting walking and jumping through the use of baby walkers or jumpers for example is not required for them to learn these FMS and can in fact compromise their smooth emergence/acquisition.