February 8, 2021
Without outdoor play at school, the responsibility of providing opportunities for their children to exercise falls to parents. Both fine and gross motor skills, the ability to use small and large muscle groups, respectively, must be strengthened through physical activity and practice to adequately perform everyday tasks.
If fine motor skills like wrist stability while holding a pencil aren’t practiced regularly, for example, students may not be able to improve their strength and control, causing their muscles to become sloppy and weak, Dominguez explained. Gross motor skills such as running and throwing are less likely to be impacted since large muscles in the limbs and torso are used in almost all activities, but could still be negatively affected if not practiced properly and regularly.
There’s a delicate balance between preventing COVID-19 health risks and giving children peer to peer interaction. Ghaffari suggests some of these safe solutions. Small childcare facilities with families all working from home and creating a pod with close friends are some great ways to keep children safe while allowing them to partake in these new experiences.
Parents play a huge role in a child’s physical development, and that’s only increased during the pandemic. Ghaffari advises parents to find a balance between work, exhaustion, and spending time with their child to prevent many concerns about future development issues.
“Definitely take them outdoors, read together and shut off the screen as soon as the class time is over,” Ghaffari said. “It takes effort, but it’s much better in the long run.”