Do motor skills develop naturally? How can I help my child?

Children's physical and motor skills  tend to develop a rather predictable sequence. As a children's bodies grow, they will also acquire the skills needed to coordinate and maneuver those body parts. Of course, these skill do not appear out of nowhere or develop in a vacuum. Children need stimulation and activities to help them practice and master various motor skills, both simple and complex. Engage your child in activities that challenge their coordination, build muscle strength, and exercise different types of movements. Variety is important as children need to stimulate different sorts of movements. The key is fun and exciting physical activities that pose just the right amount of challenge, starting off with exercises that foster gross motor or large body movements before moving onto fine motor or dexterity and coordination activities such as pinching or grasping for objects. 

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

Child Development Expert

Jennie Ito is a mother of two and a child development consultant who specializes in children’s play and toys. Before becoming a consultant for LeapFrog, she was an intern at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and later worked as a content expert for the Association of Children’s Museum’s “Playing for Keeps” Play Initiative. Jennie earned her doctorate degree in developmental psychology at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.