Simple Activities to Develop Gross Motor Skills in Children
Are you looking for activities to develop gross motor skills in children? Then this list is perfect for you. Gross movements consist of large muscle groups and whole body movements. Gross motor skills involve movement and coordination of the arms, legs and other large body parts. These skills develop in a head-to-toe order. The first gross motor development a child achieves is holding their head up. Children learn head control, trunk stability, crawling, pulling themselves up, standing and finally walking. This is a starter list of activities to develop gross motor skills in children that cost almost nothing.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through this links I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information please check my Disclosure Policy
Toddlers and Preschoolers have tons of energy that they need to expel in some form or another. Is your child running around the house and you don’t know what to do? These activities will help get out some energy and get them moving. Here are some activities to help your toddler and preschooler build up those large muscles. Start slow and move onto harder activities as your child grows and builds their muscles.
13 Gross Motor Activities for Children that are FREE
Kids just love balloons. They are a cheap, easy way of getting your child moving. Blow up a few balloons and stand back. Let your little one kick or throw the balloon to you. Play “Don’t Let the Balloon Touch the Ground”. Just walking and moving the balloons out of the way are good movements.
-For my sons birthdays, we blow up dozens of balloons. The kids love it and gets them moving. We started this with my oldest sons first birthday. He’s 6 now and continues to love balloon extravaganza. We play with balloons for weeks. Here is a picture of the start to balloon extravaganza.
*Cotton Snow Ball fight—
Of course, if real snow is outside then go for a real snowball fight. Though most of year real snow-balls aren’t an option. Have a snowball fight instead. You don’t have to worry about the cold. It’s easy cleanup and lots of fun.
-I’ve worked with some students before that were adverse to cold items. Playing with cotton balls are a great way to play the game and mimic movements but not be in the cold weather.
Draw Hop-scotch, Follow the line, make shapes, draw your favorite animal…. the ideas are endless.
The simple act of chalk drawing works the whole body in continuous up and down motions.
Simon says gets your little one moving and following directions at the same time. Here are some movements that you can add beside –touch head, touch toe and so.
-Move like a robot
-Hop on one foot
Work together to develop gross motor skills in children
*Act like an Animal–
This is just like Simon Says but with animals. In our house, we like this better than the tradition Simon Says. It get’s the kids moving and learning about animals. You can also have them make sounds as they move like that animal. It’s tons of fun.
-Hop like a Bunny
-Gallop like a Horse
-Slither like a Snake
-Crawl like a bear
-Walk like an Elephant
-Fly like a bird ….. Anything you can think of.
*Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles—
What child doesn’t like bubbles?? I’ve never met one. Children will naturally go towards bubbles. They could walk towards them, reach, jump, stomp and grab the bubbles. Anyway, they try and get the bubbles is movement.
*Find the Shape—-
Cut shapes out of construction paper and put them all over the floor. Ask your little one to get each shape. Do different movements to get different shapes. Ex- Hop to the square. They are walking, bending to pick up and identify shapes. You can do this with any other picture you want. Use transportation pictures, animal pictures, letters and even numbers. It’s a fun way for your child to learn and move.
*Paper Plate Skating—
Get some paper plates, step on them and do some skating. This is a great exercise for the adults too.
*Bean Bag Toss—
We use our laundry baskets to toss the bean bags into. You could use anything you like including cans, boxes etc.
That’s right, a good old fashion pillow fight. You can put some pillows on the floor for cushions or just stay on the couch. Kids love this because they think they’re doing something they’re not supposed to.
*Build a Fort
You can put some pillows on the floor for cushions or just stay on the couch. Kids love this because they think they’re doing something they’re not supposed to. Once the fort is built, children have to climb or crawl to get around. Here is a picture of the latest fort.
Any way you use them it will build gross motor skills. Throw, catch, kick or roll the ball. Using a ball makes it easy to use those large muscles and build gross motor skills in children.
The playground is made to build gross motor skills in children. You don’t have to do anything else. Let your child walk, run, climb and explore.
Children have a variety of individual strengthens and weakness. Strengthening the upper body muscles is essential for development and control. Use this list to work on building gross motor skills.
I’d love to hear some simple gross motor activities that you do with your little one. It’s always good to hear suggestions.