22 May 2023
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Gross motor skills are foundational developmental skills required for play, self-care, and academic tasks. The COVID-19 restrictions limited children’s access to community settings such as parks and playgroups to practise gross motor skills.

When to refer

Children may present with the following gross motor difficulties:

  • Poor balance and posture
  • Poor strength
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Clumsiness

Refer to a physiotherapist when a child is not achieving age-appropriate motor milestones or has difficulty with physical activities. Early referral is key in maximising outcomes.
Where and how to refer

What to recommend

Increased opportunities to build gross motor skills.

Encourage parents to:

  • Avoid baby walkers
  • Reduce screen time
  • Prioritise floor tummy time for infants
  • Promote outdoor play for all ages
  • Attend playgroup

Resources by age

This article was written by members of the ‘Stronger Seeds, Taller Trees’ project which includes professionals from a number of government and non-government organisations in South Western Sydney. The group aims to support GPs working with families to navigate and access timely services when they have a concern about a child’s development.