Early Childhood Intervention
Help build gross motor skills
Teachers of infants and toddlers may notice a child who needs extra help with the development of gross motor skills. These are skills that use the larger muscles of the body, such as arms and legs. Children with gross motor delays may have problems with their balance, body strength, and coordination.
You may already have toys in your classroom that can help children develop gross motor skills. Even though some children may take a little more time to develop these large motor skills, they can still join their peers in daily activities that increase every child’s strength, balance, and coordination.
Toys and equipment that you already may have include the following:
Small push-pull toys and riding toys without pedals
Gyms that allow infants to grasp or kick at items
Large blocks or construction toys
Balls of various sizes that can be rolled, thrown, or kicked
Indoor and outdoor climbing equipment that is appropriate for children of the same age.
ECI offers services in natural environments
If you have infants and toddlers who need help with gross motor skills, you may refer their parents to Early Childhood Intervention (ECI). ECI provides services to families that have infants and toddlers with qualifying disabilities or developmental delays.
Services take place in the child’s natural environment—a setting that is comfortable and familiar to the child. Although most services are provided in the child’s home, they can be provided in many common environments—an early care and education center, a park, a library, or another community setting, for example—even those where children without disabilities gather.
Some parents may ask that ECI services be provided in their child’s classroom. If so, visits will be scheduled with you. If the child has gross motor delays, the ECI staff person may be a motor therapist.
The therapist may help you arrange the classroom, suggest new or different ways to use the toys and equipment in the class, or plan activities that help all children develop gross motor skills.
To learn more about gross motor activities for all the children in your class, here are a few resources you may find helpful:
Play Activities to Encourage Motor Development in Child Care. www.extension.org/pages/25802/play-activities-to-encourage-motor-development-in-child-care.
Gross and Fine Motor Activities for Early Childhood. www.earlychildhood.msstate.edu/resources/motoractivities/pdfs/infant-toddler.pdf.
Perceptual and Motor Development Domain. www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/itf09percmotdev.asp.
Did you know?
ECI has information and education materials for professionals, families, and the general public. The materials are free and can be conveniently ordered online and shipped directly to you. For additional information, visit: www.dars.state.tx.us/ecis/materials.shtml.