Being able to participate in gross motor activities is essential to a child’s optimal development. Gross motor activities stimulate the basic foundations of physical, social, emotional and cognitive development.
Due to the current environments in which we live a child’s opportunity to participate in free outdoor play and sports in the backyard or local neighbourhood are under threat. This is particulalrly so with the rise in children using technology and sitting in front of a computer, I-Pad, smart phone, handheld game or television.
Gross motor skills inherently develop and help refine fine motor skills which are required for school readiness; and are a precursor for literacy, numeracy and independent activities of daily living such as independent dressing and toileting.
The benefits of a preschooler participating in sport are endless. Besides developing gross motor skills and assisting to refine fine motor skills required for school, sport is a healthy alternative. It assists in developing team work skills; promotes problem solving skills; and builds healthy self- esteem.
The Ready Steady Go Kids program assists in motor development. Warm up activities completed weekly such as jumping, hopping, skipping, galloping and heel-to-toe walking promote motor planning and bilateral control. The child will use and coordinate both sides of the body by participating in star jumps, scissor jumps and the sporting activities such as footy, cricket and T-ball where they catch and throw balls. By participating in a variety of sports they undertake catching; kicking; batting and throwing and learn to control objects and coordinate these movements in a busy environment on the court; and later on in life when involved in a sporting game.
The Gross motor sports circuits set ups in the Ready Steady Go Kids program provide a multi-sensory experience for the child and focus on developing physical strength, balance and coordination. These mini sports circuits are goal focused and teach the child to take on a challenge and fulfil a set goal such as shooting a puck, kicking a goal, smashing a volley or putting around an obstacle. Participation in this active and structured multi-sport program for 45 minutes each week re-enforces the importance of keeping physically active; taking instruction from others; taking turns; cheering on team mates and ultimately having fun and getting enjoyment from playing sport!