Gross Motor Skill Activities:
- Follow the leader. Lead your child in moving their body in different ways: fly around the room like an airplane, crawl around like a bear, gallop like a horse, etc. Then have your child lead and you imitate. This can strengthen their entire body.
- Play soccer. Show your child how to kick a ball into a goal. You can make your own goal out of a box; take turns kicking the ball in the goal and cheering for one another. This is a great time to begin teaching good sportsmanship. Soccer can work to improve their body control, balance, and leg muscles.
- Hop like a kangaroo. Set up a rope and show your child how to jump over it with their feet together. This would help your child with body control, balance, and leg muscles.
- Frog time. Lay wash clothes on the floor with a small space in between them. Have your child practice hopping from one “lily pad” to another without falling into the “water.” Hopping can help your child with their body control and balance, as well as build their leg muscles.
- Toss a ball together. Have your child practice holding their hands in front of them to catch a ball you toss to them. Then have them practice tossing it back and forth. This can improve their arm strength and control.
- Take advantage of neighborhood playgrounds. Playgrounds offer lots of things to climb on, swing on, balance on paths to walk on; lots of ways to strengthen muscles, improve balance, and body control.
- Play horse. Have your child try to balance on your back as you crawl around on the floor. Challenge them to let go and stretch their arms out to the side to help them balance. (Be sure to do this on carpet or another soft surface.)
- Blow bubbles. Have you child practice “catching” bubbles. Challenge them to jump to reach high bubbles and then kick the lower bubbles. This is a great activity to improve arm control.
- Balloon Catch. Toss balloons and have your child try to catch them in a basket or a small box. This can improve both arm control and strength.
- Tag. Have your child chase after you around the yard to catch you. Then you chase after your child. Running is a great way to improve coordination/body control.
- Mouse feet. Have your child walk on their tip toes around the floor so quietly that you cannot hear them coming. Walking on their tip toes strengthens their leg muscles and improves balance.
- Balancing act. Practice balancing on one leg and holding the opposite foot. Watch the clock to see how long they can go. You may want to get them used to the idea first by holding onto a chair or wall; then begin letting go.