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delight, accept, grow • T3/2021 • 1mainlymusic.org.ukDoesn’t big, strong muscles sound so much more exciting than gross motor skills! When your child attends mainly play or mainly music, there many moments when their muscles will be developing.MarchingIn songs, like The Grand Old Duke of York or The Wheels on the Bus, help your child respond with actions. Not only will they be experiencing plenty of cross-patterning (physical movement that involves crossing the midline of the body, using the upper and lower body, or right and left side separately), their arms and legs will be getting plenty of use.As the song progresses, as their grown-up, enter into the activity with passion. For the most part, your participation will increase their participation.JumpingWhen 5 Little Monkeys or Three Jelly Fish are used as imagination songs and the actions involve jumping on the bed, or on and off the rock, again your child’s large muscles will be exercised.Big, strong musclesGross motor skillsFor families
2 • T3/2021 • delight, accept, growmainlymusic.org.ukEven moreGross motor skills are those which require whole body movement. This movement involves the large core stabilising muscles of the body which we use to perform everyday functions, such as standing, walking, running and jumping. Did you know that when you are sitting upright at the table, this also develops those big, strong muscles? Add activities that include throwing, catching, and kicking and your child is developing eye-hand coordination skills and contributing to their ball skills as well. Keep going because swimming, along with riding a bike or a scooter, increases your child’s gross motor skill development.Now that you have read about the need for these strong muscles, what can you do?Get out the balloons Whether you’re indoors because it’s winter or taking a break from the summer sun, balloons create a lot of interaction. Play ‘keepy uppy’ – that means, don’t let the balloon touch the ground. Whether it’s with your hands, head or feet, make sure that balloon doesn’t touch the ﬂoor!Hold a paper plate in your hand like a bat and ‘keepy uppy’ becomes a sport! Or make a slight change and hit the balloon against the wall with your paper plate bat.Hold another balloon in your hand (use it like a bat) that must keep the other balloon up. What fun!At home funWith growing musclesWhat use are these muscles?Here’s something you might not know: Writing is not only a ﬁne motor skill activity (in this instance, using your ﬁngers, thumb and hand); it also requires the use of the large muscles in your arm and sitting. This requires your gross motor skills to have been well developed. Writing can then become very tiring.Coming along to mainly music or mainly play assists your child’s readiness for school.Your participation will increase their participation
delight, accept, grow • T3/2021 • 3mainlymusic.org.ukAdditional activitiesYou’ve read this article on big, strong muscles. Now follow us on social media for on-going activities you can do at home.Move another way Instead of walking to the bedroom at the end of the day, why not try …• Running and jumping (three running steps, two jumps – add some maths into the activity)• Hopping (try that foot and now try your other – for ﬁve hops each)• Wheelbarrow walking (hands on the ﬂoor, Dad or Mum hold your legs like the handles of the barrow)• Put cushions on the ﬂoor and walk on them (upper body strength is required to handle the unstable surface)• Crawling (even if you walk usually, see whether you can crawl to bed tonight!)• Pull your younger sibling along the ﬂoor when they’re sitting in a box or the laundry basket.Obstacle alert Create an obstacle course where your child will need to go over chairs, under the table, along a masking tape line on the ﬂoor, jump from rug to rug or cushion to cushion or even paper plate to paper plate. Find ways to make this safe for your growing pre-schooler.I remember the days of old.I ponder all your great worksand think about what you have done.Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,for I am trusting you, God.Show me where to walk,for I give myself to you.Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress Psalm 143Have you ever thought of running towards God in times of difﬁculty? Chat to your mainly music or mainly play Team Members if you’d like to know more.
4 • T3/2021 • delight, accept, growmainlymusic.org.ukDo you follow us on Facebook and Instagram?We have competitions occurring throughout 2021.Head to the ‘Learning At Home’ collection - mainlymusic.org.ukActivities to enjoy at home!The Learning Together with music packs engages you and your child in music you’ll know from mainly music and mainly play sessions. These are filled with activities that develop your child’s fine motor skills, colour recognition, counting skills, engage literacy skills, and more. Each pack comes with a song you can use on your device.In spending time with your child, learning together, you will nurture their growth, captivate their imagination, and bring delight to your day. The content has been designed with a growing child in mind. The age suitability is 2-5 years.