Gross motor skills are physical skills that involve large muscle groups of the body. Children use their gross motor skills when they run, jump, stand, sit, walk, balance, climb, and dance. Not only do they help your child move around, but they also assist them in performing everyday activities.
Here are some fun ways you can help your child develop their gross motor skills, both indoors and outdoors.
- Obstacle course – An obstacle course is an ideal way to involve several gross motor skills at once, while giving your child an enjoyable goal to work towards. You can set up an obstacle course either indoors or outdoors. Look for safe yet challenging ways for your child to climb, crawl, balance, and jump.
- Dancing – Dancing involves coordination and balance, so it can be a great way to help your child develop their gross motor skills. You can either let your child’s imagination help them to create a dance routine of their own, or sing movement-focused songs such as “I’m a Little Teapot.”
- Hopscotch – Not only is this classic game a fun way to learn numbers, but it also develops balance, coordination, and motor accuracy.
- Pretend play – There are many opportunities to develop your child’s gross motor skills through pretend play. You can pretend to be a bear and walk on your hands and feet, act out the way frogs jump, or build a castle using empty cardboard boxes and cushions.
- Play ball games – Whether you’re rolling a large ball to your toddler, tossing a baseball around with your school-age child, or kicking a soccer ball back and forth, your child will develop balance, coordination, and control of their movements.
- Play with bubbles – Blowing bubbles is a fun activity for children, and when they run to catch and pop them, they develop gross motor skills as well. Older children can use larger bubble wands to help develop gross motor skills further.
- Play tag or freeze tag – Games such as tag and freeze tag allow your child to have fun with their friends while running, pivoting, and balancing.
- Balance games – Having your child walk along a sidewalk curb or a line on the ground is a fun and safe way to help them learn balance.
You can also talk with your child’s preschool teacher for other fun ways to help your child develop their gross motor skills.