Good gross motor skills and body awareness are important for good posture, movement around the school, participation in games and sports, and for general fitness, health, and wellbeing. Of course, children can have a happy, fulfilling life without being good at hopscotch or kickball! But the skills these activities require are important for managing the body. Being able to hop, for example, helps kids control themselves when they lose their footing. And not feeling confident on the playground can lower their self-esteem and discourage them from staying active later in life.
Taking part in gross motor activities can have a positive impact on school readiness skills such as reading, writing, and sitting posture. Gross motor abilities also have an influence on other everyday functions. For example, a child’s ability to maintain appropriate table posture (upper body support) will affect their ability to participate in fine motor skills (e.g. writing, drawing, and cutting) and sitting upright to attend to class instruction, which then has an impact on their academic learning.
Gross motor skills have an impact on your endurance to cope with a full day of school (sitting upright at a desk, moving between classrooms, carrying your heavy school bag). They also have an impact on your ability to navigate your environment (e.g. walking around classroom items such as a desk, up a sloped playground hill, or to get on and off a moving escalator). Without fair gross motor skills, a child will struggle with many day-to-day tasks such as eating, packing away their toys, and getting onto and off the toilet or potty.