Your 4- to 5-year-old child is capable of a great number of gross motor skills now. She can climb up and down stairs like an adult, alternating feet and holding on to the rail (or not!). It’s likely she has also been working on climbing other things too. You’ll especially see this at the playground, as she rushes up the ladder to the slide or climbs to the top of the jungle gym. At this age, she may have also learned how to pump while on a swing, though she may still need you to give her a starting push. Climbing and swinging require a lot of balance, strength, and coordination, but she has been building these skills since she learned to crawl!
How can you support your child’s development of this Active, Coordinated Movement skill at this age? It’s as easy as 1-2-3.
- Visit a playground. Playgrounds are such great places for children to practice swinging and climbing, and best of all, they are free to visit! Be sure to keep an eye on your child though. You don’t need to stand under her, but be watchful and not too far away, ready to lend a hand if needed.
- Give a swinging lesson. If your child really wants to swing but hasn’t yet figured out the process, try this advice from Scholastic.com. They point out that explaining swinging verbally is really difficult, so it’s better to help your child “feel” how the process works. They suggest standing in front of your child after you’ve given her a push on the swing and asking her to touch your hand with her feet. That little bit of stretching she does will help her make the motion of pumping, and she should be able to feel the result of her effort.
- Time to slide! While you’re at the playground, don’t let your child neglect the slide. With the change in elevation and sometimes twists and turns, sliding can stimulate your child’s vestibular system. This, in turn, will help develop her sense of balance. And if she wants to climb up the slide instead of the ladder? Well, as long as other children aren’t waiting to go down, go ahead and let her try. This will give her a new climbing challenge and let her see that objects can be used in many different ways!
Has your baby achieved the following Active, Coordinated Movement developmental milestones yet? If yes, check off all the skill(s) he has already mastered to date using Playful Bee’s developmental milestones tracker. It’s absolutely FREE and easy to use, just click HERE!
- Swings and climbs
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