Gross motor activities for preschoolers are a MUST in my book.
Preschoolers aren’t quite as hard as toddlers to plan activities for, but there still are some limitations to what you can do. And getting their little bodies moving helps a ton!
Granted, preschoolers have much more control than a toddler does (due to improvements in their fine motor skills), and their academic level has jumped by leaps and bounds in only a year or so. Therefore, crafting and art projects come a little easier.
Preschoolers still tend to have a lot, and I mean a lot, of energy that they need to expel in some form or another. What’s a better way than with some fun activities that help their gross motor skills that get them up and moving?
However, there are still certain things that hold preschoolers back from doing some of the more advanced activities that require a little more patience, precision and coordination.
Which means, we have the perfect list of gross motor activities that are perfect for your preschooler to actually do.
These are 35 gross motor activities for preschoolers to have fun with!
These gross motor activities for preschoolers are just for fun!
Many of these activities could add in a learning element or two, but really, they’re just for fun! Have fun, join in and enjoy the giggles.
- The Floor is Lava: A classic activity that doesn’t get enough credit. Enjoy this on any day when boredom strikes.
- Paper Plate Skating: Grab a couple plates, step on them and skate around the house!
- A Flash Light Scavenger Hunt: Turn off the lights and hide some objects around the house for preschoolers to go find with a flash light. They’ll be begging for you to hide them again!
- Target Practice: Set up a target practice for preschoolers to throw something at (whether its mud or bean bags)!
- Dumpster Diving: Preschoolers will just love searching in a box of ‘garbage’ for their favorite toys!
- Hop Skip & Jump: Set up paper plates around the house or outside and have them jump from one to the next. If you have different color plates, there’s lots of options!
- Sensory Walking Path: Add in the elements of different sensory objects and make a path to walk along to explore with your feet. Add in paint for a creative experience.
- String Scavenger Hunt: String some string around the room, through chairs and set up treasures along the way to find! Have them follow it through, going in and out, under and over to see what they can find!
- Tape Road: This will definitely get them moving and busy for the day! Tape a road throughout the house or room and let them drive drive drive!
- A Spy Game: Tape up a ‘spider web’ in the hallway for them to crawl through. Stick pom poms or cotton balls to it for them to pick up along the way.
- Jumping Game: See how far they can jump!
- Sticky Spider Web: Throw newspaper at a sticky spider web! How many can they get to stick?
- Lines of Colored Tape: Tape lines on the floor to act as a balance beam. Or blow pom poms or cotton balls along them!
- Newspaper Throwing: Have a little indoor ‘basketball’ with newspapers!
- A Big Maze: Either use tape inside or sidewalk chalk outside and make a huge maze for the kids to drive or walk through!
- Balance Beam: If you have old boards laying around, or even a lineup of books, would work as a balance beam!
- Race with Straws and Pom Poms (shared on PBS Parents): Set up a track to blow pom poms around. Its much harder than it seems!
- Frisbee Toss: Find some lids to act as frisbees. Tape a couple lines on the floor for targets and see if you can land them just right!
Find all sorts of scavenger hunts for kids to keep moving!
Learning Gross Motor Activities for Preschoolers
Learning at a desk is never easy for preschoolers. They need to move! It just so happens there’s ways for preschooler to learn while moving too.
- Maze of Numbers: Preschoolers will absolutely love to practice counting their way through a huge maze! Do it with tape if you’re stuck inside.
- Bean Bag Toss: Label your stairs with numbers and throw bean bags to land on each stair. Make it harder to land on them in order.
- What does it land on? A rolling version of target practice, roll a ball to see what it lands on (shapes, numbers, whatever)!
- Puzzle Scavenger Hunt: Hide pieces of a number puzzle around the house. Find them and match them up with the puzzle base!
- Learning Scavenger Hunt: Set out letters or numbers for them to find throughout the house and have them match it up to an ‘answer sheet’.
- Alphabet Ball: Pass a ball back and forth calling out letters, numbers, whatever they’re learning.
- Jump & Grab: Hang some objects for them to jump and grab (make it learning or just for fun)!
- Connect the ‘Dots’ Mazes (shared on PBS Parents): A tape maze for the kids to drive through and connect the matching letters (or numbers, shapes, sight words… ).
- Dandelion Counting Race: Make a grid to count dandelions in and see who can find and count the most!
- Trampoline Learning: Try any of these learning activities on the trampoline for a bouncing good time!
Preschoolers can get creative with gross motor activities too!
One of my favorite ways to get creative is in a big way, what I call Big Art. It combines movement with art and its just plain fantastic. It’s perfect for toddlers that don’t have control, but preschoolers still absolutely love it.
- Big Art with Carpet Samples: Get carpet samples and attach them to their hands to paint in a big way.
- Ribbon Painting: If you can go outside with this one, that would probably be best. Dip some ribbons in paint and throw them at paper! Watch the marks it makes.
- Painting with Wheels: Take the big wheels outside and roll across paint to cover the sidewalk!
Find more Big Art ideas to get creative
More gross motor activities for preschoolers from other hands on moms:
- Jumping Skip Counting from Learn Play Imagine
- Soft Toy Toss from Learn with Play at Home
- Gross Motor with Water Balloons from Little Bins for Little Hands
- A Race to Learn Phonics from Inspiration Laboratories
I always think these balance spooner boards (affiliate link) seem like fun for preschoolers too! And I got this Diggin Wobble Board (affiliate link) for my nephew that I think is much like the game of Simon (affiliate link, I also really love that game!) but with your feet and a balancing, rocking aspect.
Their energy should be taken care of now! Hopefully it’ll be a peaceful evening now!
(Don’t have a preschooler yet? Try these physical activities for toddlers until its time!)