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Top Tip Tuesday- wall murals to develop gross motor skills

Gross motor skills are abilities that allow people to do things that involve using the large muscles in the torso, arms and legs to complete whole-body movements. That includes activities like climbing and jumping. Children rely on these skills to have successful experiences at school, on the playground, and in the community. These skills involve the coordination of the muscles and the neurological system which impact balance and coordination. They also form the basis for fine motor skills that help us make small movements, including the ability to write. By giving children lots of space to draw and mark make their ideas on a large scale, it can help to develop the larger muscles in their arms and shoulders and increase hand-eye coordination. The upright posture also engages the core muscles (abdominal and back muscles). Moreover, the novelty of a vertical surface and large movements may encourage more reluctant writers to 'have a go' and create their own ideas.

What you need ...

  • giant pieces of card/ cardboard boxes/ wallpaper

  • pens/ crayons/ pencils/ paint

  • Blu-Tack/ sticky tape

What to do ...

  • stick the card or wallpaper to the wall at a child's height

  • let children draw and colour pictures or write to cover the card

Remember ...

  • explain to children the idea of this activity is to draw on the card and not on the wall

  • giving children their own space may prevent them from drawing on other walls

  • this activity could also be done by sticking paper on an outside wall or fence

Drawing on a vertical surface gives children opportunities to strengthen and develop certain physical motor skills in a way that sitting at the table and floor won't.

You can find more ideas here to help build gross motor skills at home.

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