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Home » Locomotor Skills

Locomotor Skills

Locomotor skills move the body from one location to another. Many locomotor skills are used on a daily basis (e.g. running after a bus, leaping over a puddle), as well as in many games and sports (e.g. jumping up to catch a ball).

To move with control, your child will need good balance, as well as an awareness of the environment in terms of effort, space, and in relation to people or object. This is because body movements often occur in relation to at least one of these factors and seldom in isolation.

Example: If your child spots a friend from a distance and wants to greet him, he has to walk in the direction (space) of his friend (relationship – people) quickly (effort) before he loses sight of that friend.

Locomotor skills include (in ascending levels of difficulty for most children):

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Leaping
  • Jumping
    • off a Height
      for Height (vertical jump)
      for Distance (horizontal jump)
  • Sliding
  • Galloping
  • Hopping
  • Skipping

While children attempt the above locomotor skills at different pace, many would learn to walk at about one year old, progressing to run and jump at about two. From about three, they start to explore leaping, sliding, galloping, hopping and skipping. To master these skills, children need instructions at an early age and lots of opportunities to practise them… and in the course of it, have fun!

Click on the category or the pdf link to find out more. FMS Locomotor Skills [9.17mb]

Walking

Running is similar to walking except that with running, there is a flight phase when both feet are momentarily off the ground at the same time.

Running

Running is similar to walking except that with running, there is a flight phase when both feet are momentarily off the ground at the same time.

Leaping

Leaping is similar to running except for a longer and exaggerated flight phase. It requires taking off on one foot and landing on the other.

Jumping off a Height

Jumping skills are challenging for your child as it requires arm, leg and body coordination as well as controlling a flight phase …

Jumping for Height

The vertical jump for height requires a one- or two-foot upward take-off to gain height.

Jumping for Distance

The horizontal jump can be executed by taking off either on one foot or two, but landing on both.

Sliding

Sliding is a sideway movement where the lead foot takes one step to the side, followed by the other foot stepping next to it closely, without it crossing over the leading foot.

Galloping

Galloping is a forward slide movement: front foot steps forward with a little spring followed by the transfer of body weight to the back foot.

Hopping

Hopping involves taking off on one foot and landing on the same foot, usually in a continuous and rhythmic movement.

Skipping

Skipping is a combination of a step and a hop on the same foot followed immediately by a step and hop on the opposite foot.