1-Year-Old girl lifts a foot up to crawl out of a sand box. A 1-year-old's motor skills are rapidly developing and can be strengthened with simple activities.

5 Simple Activities to Help Your 1-Year-Old Strengthen Motor Skills

At 1-years-old, you'll notice your little one's motor skills ramping up quite a bit and soon you'll have a toddler on the move! Motor skills refer to the ability to control one's movements and perform physical tasks, such as crawling, walking, and playing with toys. Strong motor skills are essential for a child's overall development, as they lay the foundation for more advanced physical abilities and coordination later in life. Here are five simple activities you can do with your 1-year-old to help them strengthen their motor skills:

  1. Crawling - Encouraging your child to crawl is a great way to improve their motor skills. Crawling helps build strength in the arms, legs, and core, and improves coordination. You can make crawling even more fun by setting up an obstacle course in your living room, using pillows, toys, and other household items to create a fun and challenging environment for your child to crawl through.
  2. Push Wheeled Toys -  A big, wheeled toy that your child can lean on as they practice walking is great for encouraging gross motor skills. Just be sure to supervise them, as they can still fall and hurt themselves. These toys are best used on carpet or other soft surfaces.
  3. Ball Play - Playing with balls is a good way to help your child develop their motor skills. At 1-years-old your child won't likely have enough coordination to catch a ball, but you can certainly roll one back and forth. This activity helps improve hand-eye coordination, as well as develops strength in the arms, legs, and core.
  4. Use Riding Toys - Rocking horses, age-appropriate scooters, and any other vehicle-esque toy they can sit atop of and scoot around in is great for exercising leg muscles and practicing gross motor skills.  
  5. Place Toys Out of Reach -  When using toys to play with your little one, placing them just out of reach every once in a while is a wonderful way to encourage your child to crawl, toddle, or pull themselves up to get the coveted item. It's also a great way to practice early problem solving! 

These simple activities are excellent for helping your 1-year-old strengthen their motor skills and improve their coordination. Not only are they fun for your child, but they also provide a nice opportunity for you to bond with them and watch them grow and develop. Additionally, these activities can be adapted to your child's individual needs and abilities, making them a great option for children of all skill levels. So go ahead, get creative and have fun with your child while helping them build strong motor skills!

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