Gross motor skills are those which require whole body movement and involve the large (core stabilising) muscles of the body to perform everyday functions, such as standing, walking, running, jumping, and sitting upright at the table. They also include eye-hand coordination skills such as ball skills (throwing, catching, kicking) as well as riding a bike or a scooter and swimming.
Gross motor skills are important to enable children to perform every day functions, such as walking, running, playground skills (e.g. climbing) and sporting skills (e.g. catching, throwing and hitting a ball with a bat). However, they are also crucial for everyday self care skills like dressing and climbing into and out of a car or even getting into and out of bed.
Gross motor abilities also have an influence on other everyday functions. For example, a child’s ability to maintain appropriate table top posture (upper body support) will affect their ability to participate in fine motor skills (e.g. writing, drawing and cutting) and sitting upright in class, which then impacts on their academic learning.