Gross Motor Skills involve balance, coordination and large movements of the body to perform everyday functions such as walking, jumping, running and climbing stairs. They also include hand-eye coordination skills such as throwing, catching and kicking as well as riding a scooter or bike. Gross motor skills also relate to body awareness, strength and reaction speed and are important for a child’s strong and healthy body.
Research undertaken by ‘Veldman, Jones and Okely’ showed that gross motor skills can help:
- prevent childhood obesity;
- improve cognitive development;
- increase social and language skills;
- enhance physical fitness; and
- help prevent low self – esteem and anxiety.
This activity is fantastic for core strength and coordination.
- Place some cups on a the ground.
- Using their feet, they are to pick up each cup, move their body and place it on the baking tray. It is harder than it looks!
- Then walk around the house holding the baking tray of cups, making sure none of them fall off.
This game is fantastic for reacting on your feet and changing direction.
- All you need is an item to place in a pocket such as a scarf or an item of clothing.
- You place the scarf in your pocket so that it is hanging out.
- You run and your child follows you, trying to pull the scarf out.
- Repeat and then your child could have a go and you chase them.
This was repeated lots of times in our household!
Crawling Under Chairs
- Line up a few chairs next to each other.
- Your child crawls under the chairs, all the way to the end.
This is great for their upper body strength. Crawling helps to strengthen muscles in the head, neck, arms, back and legs.
Cereal Box Hurdles
Another excuse to use our cereal boxes!
- Place your cereal or Amazon boxes in a line, making sure they are different heights.
- Your child walks or jumps over the boxes and repeats!
- Find a duvet cover and place a toy in the middle.
- Your child takes one end and you take the other, each holding onto the corners.
- Move the duvet up and down, as if the toy is on a trampoline, making sure the toy doesn’t fall off.
Tightrope Tea Towels
- Roll up some tea towels and lay them in a line. You could use string, masking tape or ribbon
- Ask your child to walk along the tea towels, placing one foot in front of the other
- Remember not to touch the ground with your foot!
- Gather up your child’s sock into pairs and fold them
- Have a marker (a piece of card) for them to stand on
- Put a box a few feet away from the marker
- Ask your child to stand on the marker and throw the socks into the box
- After, they can use their counting skills to count how many pairs of socks are in the box and how many are outside the box. Which has more socks in it?
Plate Stepping Stones
- Find some plastic plates or cut out some paper
- Place them outside in your garden or inside your house in a zig zag pattern
- Ask your child to step on the plates without touching the ground
- Place some bath toys in the bath
- Tell your child that the toys need washing
- Use the shower head to make shapes and patterns. Move the shower up and down, in lines, circles and wiggly snakes