Gross motor development is an important skill for growing children.
Gross motor skills are a key factor in the overall child development that requires action at larger muscles, promote coordination and movement.
To improve these skills play various gross motor activities listed below with your children at any age.
This game requires you to pick an object or person and use actions to demonstrate what it is. Players have to guess based on the actions you choose. This awesome activity promotes creativity as well because if one action is not leading them to guess correctly, you need to come up with others.
Having stable balance is such an important gross motor skill for great posture. Playing hopscotch encourages this by having you hop on one foot, or both feet as you pass by each square, which helps to develop muscle coordination. As you become more comfortable with hopping on one foot, you can challenge yourself to move more quickly.
- A variety of designs to play hopscotch. Pick yours and start playing.
Break Out Bubbles
Blowing bubbles is a fantastic way to develop gross motor skills. Any child (or adult!) who plays with bubbles will not be able to resist the urge to chase after bubbles, which will have them running. This encourages changing direction at various paces and will increase their reaction time. Furthermore, chasing bubbles can help to engage muscle, especially when extending to reach a bubble high in the air or stomping on one that has not yet popped as it reaches the ground.
This is a great gross motor activity to promote gross motor skills! Swings require you to pump your feet and get your body to move in a fluid motion while off the ground, which helps to develop motor coordination skills.
Not only is dance a great form of creative expression, it also encourages you to develop the skills of sequencing, balance, strength and body awareness. Dance requires a lot of core strength, as jumping, twirling and other movements can be demanding. Not only does your child need to be aware of the people around them, they also need to be aware of the position of their joints.
A treasure hunt is a fantastic and fun choice for gross motor activities as it encourages a child to develop a sense of direction physically. As they search for hidden objects, they will practice bending and turning. For a really neat gross motor skills activity, try having them complete it outside and incorporate the surrounding nature into the hunt.
Stand on one leg
This is a simple but effective gross motor activity to achieve the promotion of stable balance. It could be a morning starter that you do together, by timing yourselves to see how long you can stand on one leg. Then, switch to the other leg to ensure you are conditioning both sides.
Walk the line
This is a simple game among gross motor activities that can be modified in a variety of ways. Tape a line somewhere outside or in your household and have your child walk along. Variations could include sliding, hopping, jumping. It could be something you put in front of the door, so they must try it every time you head out for school or to run an errand.
What a fun way to develop gross motor skills! Encourage your child to climb by using the equipment at the park. This will increase their coordination and strength. As they become more comfortable climbing, encourage them to try the monkey bars!
An effective activity for developing gross motor skills is the balloon toss. See how many times your child can throw a balloon to a partner and keep it in the air. Add variations, such as moving closer together and then further apart. Encourage different types of tossing, such as underhand or overhand.
Hula Hoop Play
Hula hoops are so versatile! You can use them as obstacles for hopping over or into. You can change the direction, sideways, backward, forwards or all three. You can practice catching them or tossing them to a partner. You can also race your hula hoop, by rolling it and trying to outrun it. Spinning a hula hoop on your arms or around your waist is yet another effective way to develop coordination and strength.
Jumping games are a simple way to increase those gross motor skills. Tape targets on a wall and having them jump to touch it, placing targets along the floor and jumping from one to next or having a jumping contest can be engaging ways to practice this skill. Alternatively, you could purchase a small trampoline and have your child practice different jumping styles (star, pike, tuck, etc.).
Obstacle Course Play
This activity promotes gross motor skill development because it can involve a variety of skills. Add stations that incorporate climbing, jumping, balance and throwing to hit as many skills as you can. Use whatever is around you, such as chairs and other equipment or use the surrounding nature.
Move Like a…
Call out different directions, such as wiggle like a worm, to have your child practice various forms of movement that will encourage coordination, balance, and strength.
Fun and easy game that promotes gross motor skills and challenges the body coordination. Check this great list of jump rope rhymes.
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