Updated: Aug 21
Does your child like to move it and move it and move it?! If so, this list is for you! Here are some great ways to channel all of that energy into gross motor skills with things you probably have at home!
1. Dance party
Throw on some Kidz Bop and spend some time just dancing with your child! This will channel their creative energy while getting their hearts pumping, and whole body moving in the process! To push some balance work add in a "freeze dance" element! When you stop the music, they must freeze in the position they are in. To add some extra “flow” to your dance try these scarves!
2. Take a walk
Just taking a walk is a great way to build all kinds of gross motor muscles but to make it more interesting here are some more ideas:
Find something to use as a “balance beam.” A log in the woods? A curb? Some rocks? Any of these "tools" add to your child’s balance development - something they will need forever.
Instead of just walking: challenge your child(ren) to run, skip, jump etc.
Ride a bike or scooter to further work on balance and leg muscles!
3. Play in the rain
Your child might be suprised when you pull out those rubber boots and go outside when its raining and yes of course we mean rain and only rain - not a storm! Just think of all of the fun you can have! Go find the biggest puddles and jump right in or ride your bike through and see how much you can make the water splash. If you're really daring see who can splash each other the most. Or if you're not looking to get absolutely soaked, just have a dance party. Movement can be so much more fun when you add a "suprise element" like rain to the mix.
4. The floor is lava
For this game you absolutely don't need anything fancy....you just need to be okay with your furniture being jumped on! Just tell your kids that they need to pretend that the floor is lava and that if they step on it, their feet will get super hot. With them you can figure out what "safe" things to put on the floor to jump on to get from room to room. Old pillows and blankets or towels work great! These stepping stones are fantastic too and they don't slip!
While playing you will build leg muscles, coordination and balance!
5. Obstacle Course
Creating an obstacle course is a fantastic tool for gross motor development because it can truly be done for any age group. It can also be done inside or outside depending on space and which muscles you want to work on! You and your child can work together to form it and then get the whole family involved!
Some ideas for an obstacle course:
*Throw a ball to hit a target
*Do arm circles
*Do some push ups or planks (for older children)
*Kick a ball
*Spin in a circle
*Crawl under an object
*Do a goofy dance
...The possibilities really are endless!
6. Pillow Case Races
Since we assume you don't actually have potato sacks laying around your house…but if you do those work too.
So find those old pillow cases that you absolutely had to hold onto…just in case for some reason you need them (now you do!)
We recommend playing outside in the grass so that the falls are nice and cushioned. Set up the start and finish lines. Pull the pillowcase up and jump until you reach the end!
Want to make it more difficult and add in some throwing skills? Have children pass a ball back and forth while jumping!
7. Mask skating
If you're anything like us you’ve hoarded a bunch of cloth masks. Some early on types that you figured out you can't stand but for some reason also can't part with? Put them to good use! This works best on a slippery floor and with socks!
Then pull a mask over each foot and let them “skate” around! They can practice any fancy move they want!
This one is about as easy as it gets! Blow up any balloon you have then head outside and have your child(ren) chase the balloon around trying to not let it hit the ground. With multiple children you can also play in teams and do ballooon “volleyball.” You dont even need a net- just place a stick on the ground and they need to get it over that…believe us it will be difficult enough!
9. Pick a sport
Whatever sports material you have...pick one with your child and learn about it. Teach them how to play and then go out and do it! Encourage them to stick with it, practicing every day in a week. If they like it, maybe they want to join a team, if not try something new! There’s something for everyone!
Finally - cool your bodies down with some yoga. Yoga is an excellent way to tone muscles all over the body while also relaxing. There are great YouTube videos (we like this channel) and some yoga cards you can do with tour child. If they are feeling amped up let them run and then cool back off- it works great!
What do you think of these ideas? Have any to share? Let us know!
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