One important topic in the pediatric population is core strength. Core strength is when the muscles around the front of your stomach, the sides of your stomach and your lower back (also known as core muscles) are strong. If these muscles are weak then it can cause your child to have poor posture, which can cause poor fine and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills are small movements, like picking up a marble or holding a spoon to eat soup. Gross motor skills are bigger movements like sitting up straight in a chair, walking, running or standing. Core strength is important because your core is one of the main things that support the rest of your body.
Poor posture and weak core muscles can lead to issues with handwriting because they do not have the strength to sit up straight or to grasp the pencil properly. Weak core strength can also cause decreased performance in school because if children can’t sit up straight, they may have trouble paying attention to their teacher in class.
Here are some things that you can do to help strengthen your child’s core muscles:
- If you see them slumped over, remind them to sit up straight. This will help strengthen those muscles over time, but you will have to remind them often.
- Play games with them that involve using their upper body, such as twister, or lying on the ground and pretending to be superman by putting their arms out in front of them and lifting them off of the ground.
- Lay on the floor with them to play puzzles and board games. They can use their elbows or forearms to help support themselves.
- Take them to the park and let them play on the monkey bars and climb on the playground equipment to help strengthen their core muscles through play time.
Here is a link for additional information: http://theinspiredtreehouse.com/child-development-core-strengthening-for-kids/Picture retrieved from http://www.thenoatbook.com/2014/07/why-core-strength-is-important-for-your.html.