The importance of gross motor movements

Kinderkinetics is a scientifically based movement program that works at developing every child to their optimal level. It aims to promote & enhance the neuromotor development of young children (0-14 years) through play based physical activity.  

Movement plays a crucial role in the development of young children, as it reflects neurological organisation and provides stimulation to the neurological systems that are essential for development and optimal functioning. It is not only important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, physical activity also plays an imperative role in the development of a child. Exposing a child to movement at a young age is crucial as it ensures that they will progress through all the various developmental milestones. These milestones include aspects such as midline crossing, directionality, bilateral integration, and coordination. All of these milestones are extremely important for a child’s success, both in an academic and behavioural manner. 

Here are two examples of how movement or a disconnect of movement can affect a child’s success:

  1. A child that has a weak core will not be able to sit upright at their desk. This child will most probably struggle to read what is on the board, always be fidgeting to try and stay upright and tend to lean on their arms. This can cause them to miss out on a lot of information.
  1. A child that struggles with bilateral integration (the ability to coordinate both sides of one’s body at the same time in a controlled manner) will struggle to write with their one hand whilst holding the page with their other hand. They are also likely to struggle with cutting skills and any other classroom activities that involve their one hand doing one thing whilst the other hand is busy with something else.

In this day and age, children are being exposed to far less movement than in the past. This is due to both the influence of technology and the shortening of time allocated to physical education in the school curriculum. 

Here are some everyday activities that you can incorporate into your child’s daily routine to promote movement and enhance neuromotor development:

  • Make your child jump like a frog when they go and brush their teeth.
  • Let your child push the grocery trolley and help carry the groceries from the car.
  • Get your child to help you cook – let them do the stirring and cutting whilst holding onto the bowl and cutting board respectively.
  • Wheelbarrow walk your child to bed every night.
  • Play clapping games with your child to help improve their hand-eye coordination
  • Cut out shapes with scissors, allowing your child to hold the paper whilst cutting along the lines

The author of this piece, Kim Barnard, runs a Kinderkinetics program in the Helderberg basin. Kinect Kids has been around since 2012 and has raving reviews with both child and parent alike. For more information on Kinect Kids and the Kinderkinetics program, visit

This article was originally published in Teacha! Magazine 2.1. To take a look at the latest edition, click here.

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