Gross motor skills. I’m a huge fan of getting the kids moving.
For two major reasons:
- It wears them out! Number one reason by far!
- It’s good for them to learn to move in new ways and build muscles and what not and so on… you know… all the technical learning stuff that they’re doing. I don’t know all the reasons and benefits of using their gross motor skills, but I just know its good to do. Read more about the benefits of moving at the Moving Smart Blog, in particular, I like the information about growing your child’s brain with movement. In the end, I know working their big muscles help them work on the little muscles, which in turn help their fine motor skills.
The boys still move constantly and are full of a lot of energy. But, for some reason, our activities have taken a turn at the fine motor activities lately and I feel the need with being outdoors and summertime that its time to get moving again. Don’t you?
So to inspire myself, and others, to get the kids moving, I’ve selected a large handful of activities that will help us get them moving and work on those gross motor skills that are really much needed. [And if it's really necessary, there's a whole bunch of ideas I've pinned onto my Get the Kids Moving board on Pinterest.]
These moving activities are usually perfect for an older toddler that’s beginning to understand instruction [enough so to do the activity] but doesn’t have the concentration to sit still and actually pay attention for an amount of time.
- Make art in a big way. Shake it, throw it, stomp it [Putti Prapancha], roll it, bounce it, chase it [Childhood Beckons], slide it [Growing a Jeweled Rose]…
- Create roads for the kids to drive along. Make a maze, or use bubble wrap, sidewalk chalk [Little Hands, Big Work] or anything else that makes it big!
- Get out balloons. Balloons move, a lot! Play balloon badminton, pop the balloons, just bounce them around and have a ball!
- Go on a hunt. Make it a learning hunt, and indoor string hunt, or and outdoor scavenger nature.
- Learn about balance with a homemade balance beam, or walk the line, or make it a balance relay [A Mom with a Lesson Plan]!
- Explore a material. Especially ones that can be thrown around like tissue paper, newspapers or fabric.
- Play classic games like Red Light, Green Light [Teach Preschool] or twister for toddlers [Outlaw Mom].
- Create a learning game that makes them run to an object or have them “Move like a….” and fill in the blank [Rainy Day Mum], or maybe drive something like a stroller to learn math [Toddler Approved]!
- Upcycle to get moving! Turn plastic shopping bags into ice skates and skate all year round in your living room [One Perfect Day], or reuse bubble wrap to jump and dance on [Mama Pea Pod]!
- Climb Trees! [The Mommies Made Me Do It]
- Make an activity course, an obstacle course [Adventures at Home with Mum], or better yet, add chores to the obstacle course and clean up in the process [The Golden Gleam].
- Get out the sidewalk chalk and draw up some activities to run through, drive through, or hop through! [Little Hands, Big Work]
- Race! Make them silly races! [Creative Family Fun]
- Turn on the music and dance, dance, dance! [Strings, Keys & Melodies] or break out the hula hoop and see what they can do [Imagination Soup]!
- Play hopscotch. [Outlaw Mom]
- Bubbles! [Motherhood on a Dime]
- Of course, roll and run down hills!
There ya go. A very simple list of 40 gross motor activities to inspire you to create the environment to get your kids moving today. Which one will you start with?
How have you gotten the kids moving lately?