Your little one will be running, jumping, and climbing with these activities that help gross motor skills for preschoolers.
Why are Gross Motor Skills Important
Often fine motor skills are at the forefront of people’s minds. It’s for a good reason. Fine motor skills are needed so that kids can control a pencil to write and zip a zipper. But what about the skills that help kids coordinate their bodies and help them move? These are called gross motor skills.
Think about running, crawling, jumping, and climbing. All of these movements require gross motor skills for preschoolers. These movements help your little one to learn what he needs to do to make the large muscles in his body move.
With practice, kids can become confident in their abilities to move their bodies. Of course, the more practice your little one gets, the stronger and more confident he will become. Thankfully, play is a great way to help strengthen gross motor skills for preschoolers.
There are three different kinds of gross motor skills. There is locomotion gross motor skills which are things like walking, crawling, etc. Next is stationary gross motor skills which are things like pulling, pushing, twisting, etc. The last type of gross motor skill is manipulation which are skills like rolling, throwing, and catching a ball. The list below has activities from all three gross motor skills types.
8 Activities to Work on Gross Motor Skills for Preschoolers
Create a start line. Relay races can be as simple as running down, running around a cone, and running back to the start line. Or you can have your little one use a spoon to try to bring a pom pom (or something similar) down to a point and then come back to the start line without dropping the item. If you have multiple kids, you can have them ‘tag’ the next person in line to go.
Grab some painter’s tape and place a strip on the floor. Have your little one practice walking on it without falling off. If a straight line is too easy, make the line a zig-zag.
There are many different options for yoga. Videos made specifically for kids (Cosmic Kids is a favorite over here) are available or there are printable kid yoga cards. There are even kid yoga books you can follow along with each morning or night to get your little one working on his gross motor skills.
Blow up a balloon and have your little ones toss it back and forth. He can also bounce it off of his hand into the air. Try not to let the balloon touch the ground!
This one will take some practice (and patience) to get your little one to be successful at jumping rope. Regardless if the rope goes around or not, jumping is a great way to work on gross motor skills for preschoolers!
Grab your little ones and get outside into nature. Let them climb on rocks, jump in puddles, and walk on the crack on the edge of the sidewalk (or where the road meets the grass). There are many different gross motor skills at work in this one activity.
Using chalk, create a hopscotch board on the sidewalk or your driveway. If you don’t have either of these at your house, most parks have a hard space you can draw a hopscotch board. Hopscotch will work on both gross motor skills and number recognition. You can spice things up by changing the numbers to letters or sight words to have your little one practice different things. Have your little one say the number (or letter) he is jumping on.
Play at the Playground
Climbing, running, and jumping are all worked on while playing on the playground. Plan a trip to your local playground to help your little ones burn off some energy, lift their moods, and work on their gross motor skills.
Gross Motor Skills for Preschoolers
Often forgotten, gross motor skills for preschoolers are just as important as fine motor skills. Help your little one to develop his gross motor skills with these great free and low prep activities!