Moving is essential for children. Walking, jumping, touching and grasping things, exploring everything around them ... It is the way in which they manage to develop sensory and spatial memory, so that they can locate themselves in their environment, know in which direction to go and work on their own balance every time they stumble and get up. Let's go! After all: have you seen a small still like a statue? At this point, we must talk about motor coordination of children.
Conceptually it can be said that motor coordination is the innate ability of people to perform body movements correctly and efficiently, thanks to adequate communication between the brain and the extremities. These movements also include balance, timing, orientation, and applied force.
Motor coordination develops gradually during the first years of life until adolescence. Therefore, we can divide it into expected stages, which appear to be innate capacities but it is also necessary to stimulate them to polish them or teach slightly more complex skills.
Imagine a scenario where it is very difficult to brush your teeth, you don't understand how to tie your shoe braids, or you just can't help but stumble over every step. It's extremely frustrating, right? Well, this is the scenario that we would have to live if motor coordination were not stimulated.
Motor coordination is divided into two types: fine, which focuses on manual skills (grasping, writing, finesse, pinching, cutting, tying, drawing, etc.); and thick, which is responsible for balance and locomotive skills (running, jumping, orienting, getting up, agility, etc.).
From childhood we have the innate ability to move and seek balance with the body, recognize the environment and grasp things. But control of force, orientation, timing and agility is what we need to stimulate to complete motor coordination effectively.
There will be many parents wondering how they can help their children stimulate motor coordination. As you may have imagined, the activities for a baby cannot be the same as for an 8-year-old. Therefore, we have made a list with different games according to the age of the children.
For babies up to 1 year of age
Motor development occurs simply with toys and exercises on the floor:
1. You can give hand toys and make simple rhythms against the floor for babies to follow or by following a song that the baby likes.
2. Make different noises with balls that squeeze and sound, so they can control their degree of strength.
3. Play with, roll, throw or squeeze balls when baby can sit up.
4. Crawl alongside him so that he begins to develop his leg movements, direction and orientation.
5. Gently take him by the arms and guide him across the floor so he can get used to the sensation of walking.
6. You can also spread various toys along the floor for me to crawl until reaching them.
Games for children up to 5 years
7. As they begin to walk and jump, you can entertain them with floor games, such as hopscotch, where they learn to maintain balance and coordination.
8. The dance It is also great for learning about spatial orientation and force control.
9. Drawings can help young children to control the strength of their hands and to understand space in two dimensions, such as coloring within lines, intensity or thickness of lines. Of course, keep in mind that you must offer them colors, crayons or markers that do not affect their health.
10. Toys such as plastids and sand to build, are ideal for forming the agility of fine motor skillsas they need attention to handle this material properly.
11. If you have stairs in your house, take the opportunity to go up and down them with your baby, as it will help to stimulate strength in his legs, resistance and spatial coordination.
12. Encourage your child to manipulate the door handles to lock and unlock them, this can get them out of an emergency situation while they understand their manual skills.
Activities for your children between 5 and 10 years old
13. Rope games are the most ideal at this age to stimulate gross motor coordination, as they must stay focused so as not to lose balance. These games should always be done under supervision to avoid scares.
14. At this age it is necessary to teach common skills such as brushing teeth, tying shoelaces, dressing oneself, folding clothes, making the bed or cleaning the dishes. These are all actions that promote the autonomy of your children.
15. If you continue with dance activities, you can even motivate them to compete or advance in the category and learn more demanding routines. Try to find out which discipline your little one likes the most. Will it be ballet or modern dance?
16. Calligraphy lessons help to develop better fluency of fine hand movements, better readability and agility.
17. They can start riding bikes, rollerblading, and skateboarding (with great caution) or doing physical activities like swimming and sports to strengthen gross motor skills.
18. Board games such as puzzles, chess, ludo, and games of mental skills, strengthen agility and coordination.
19. The most active games like twister and even sports video games, as well as dance and singing games, help enormously with the correct communication between the brain and the extremities.
What to do from 10 years to 18 years
In this age period where adolescence begins and ends, what remains is to strengthen muscle tone, acquire resistance, more balance and agility in each activity that they decide to practice and to put together more complicated manual projects. In the same way, with visual-spatial coordination that helps them evaluate and discriminate speeds and distances when running or driving vehicles. A good way to achieve this is by practicing all kinds of sports that your children like: basketball, tennis, soccer, swimming, etc.
Learning from a young age is the strength of adults.
You can read more articles similar to 19 fun games to stimulate children's motor coordination, in the Games on Site category.