The next time you listen to music, stop the music periodically. When the music stops, "freeze" in place, as you hold your child close to you. When the music resumes, exaggerate your dance moves by swinging and dipping your child. Your child will love experiencing movement with you as you enjoy the "Stop and Go Dance" together.
Climbing develops your child's gross motor skills. You may want to think about providing some climbing opportunities for your child. You may consider a simple structure like a small jungle gym or wooden slide outside your child's play space. Try to set up equipment that your child is able climb up and down without any help. Try placing a sturdy wooden stool next to a cushioned chair. Let you child climb in and out of the chair. Climbing develops your child's gross motor skills.
Children love to touch anything in sight. Put a number of objects that your infant can pick up on a blanket. See how many objects your infant picks up. You can also sit your infant on your lap and hand your infant the objects. Observe how long your infant holds on and lets go of the objects.
Young children need a lot of floor time. Between four and eight months, children may be able to hold their head and chest off the floor and use their arms and legs to pull and push. Put your child's favorite toys out of reach to encourage your child to move toward the toys. Your child may make a complete circle or may move backwards. Observe your child each day and record your child's progress.
Your child will develop gross motor skills while enjoying this fun activity! Locate a container and fill it with different sized balls. Place an empty laundry basket on its side fairly close to your child. Show your child how to roll each ball towards the empty laundry basket. (Your child may need some assistance rolling the balls into the basket.)
Pull toys encourage gross motor development. A pull toy dog is an example of a toy that can be used to play games with your child. Place the dog behind a pillow. Leave the cord hanging out. Ask you child to find the dog and pull it out from behind the pillow. Repeat using other pull toys.
Your child will begin to understand the concept of 'pull' and 'push' by playing with a toy train. Begin by pulling the toy train by the cord. "I will pull the train". Next, push the toy train. "I will push the train." Do this several times. Ask your child to push the train. Ask your child to pull the train. Repeat the activity to reinforce the concept. Use the words 'pull' and 'push' often with your child.
During 'tummy time,' encourage your infant to lift the chin by ringing a bell above your infant's head. This activity will help develop neck muscles. Observe to see if your infant can lift the head to see the bell. Remember to only use tummy time for short periods of time throughout the day.