Gross Motor Activities For Toddlers

What are Gross Motor Skills?

  • The term Gross Motor Skills refers to your baby’s ability to move their muscles to perform actions.
  • Gross motor skills are larger movement activities such as sitting, rolling, kneeling, crawling, walking, running, jumping, skipping and more.
  • Many times when children are provided with independent, free play outdoors, they automatically develop these types of skills.
  • Other times when the weather is not co-operating or children do not have plenty of outdoor space they may need some guidance and directions to increase gross motor time.

Gross motor skills are related to-

  • Balance.
  • Coordination.
  • Body awareness.
  • Physical strength.
  • Reaction time.
  • They also form the basis for fine motor skills that help us make small movements.

Gross motor skills are those that need your entire body to move. These skills involve the coordination of both -the muscles and the neurological system.

Why Are Gross Motor Skills so Important?

  • Gross motor activities can have a positive impact on school readiness skills such as reading, writing and sitting posture.
  • Proper muscular movements can help your child achieve long-lasting good health and will boost their confidence too.
  • Studies have shown that children with good gross motor abilities may cope better in the classroom.
  • Difficulty with gross motor skills could be a sign of developmental coordination disorder, which some people may call dyspraxia.

Scheduling Gross Motor Activities

  • There is no hard and fast rule about how often to do these activities. It depends on your child’s abilities.
  • Each family is different and you need to decide what works best for you. It will be more beneficial if you incorporate them for about 10 to 20 minutes a day.

Sharing some FUN LOVING ideas to develop gross motor skills in kids –

  1. Move like an Animal
    Best to make your toddles learn and act animals sounds while building muscles.
    U just have to ask them to-
  • Move like a bird (run with arms outstretched)
  • Move like a snake (wiggle on tummies on the floor)
  • Move like a frog (get down on haunches and hop)
  • Move like an elephant (with heavy stomping or put arm infront of nose and move)

U can also ask them to do YOGA poses.

  1. Throw Game
    Toddler naturally likes to throw things. You can use this to turn it into a fun game with balls and soft toys.

Things You Need:
-Plastic balls, soft toys, pillows.
-Laundry basket or any box
How To Do:
-Gather all the stuff that can be thrown easily by your toddler like plastic balls, lightweight soft toys and pillows.
-From a distance that’s comfortable to them, throw these objects into the laundry basket or box.
-Encourage and Cheer them every time they scores a basket to help build motor skills and pick up on the concept of the game.

  1. Cleaning the Room
    Cleaning the room is a great activity to build both gross and fine motor skills in toddlers such as walking, standing and grasping. It will also teach them to pick up
    toys and put them at the right place after playtime is over.

Things You Need:
-Your toddler’s toys, pillows and other items
-A laundry/toy basket
How To Do:
-Spread out all the toys and items on the floor.
-Walk around the room as you instruct your toddler to only pick up the soft toys and drop them in the laundry basket.
-After soft toys, tell them to pick up the rest and put them in the basket as well.
-The activity ends when all the items on the floor have been put into the basket.

  1. Bubbles Making
    Soap bubbles are an absolute delight for children, adding a hula hoop makes this one of the most exciting gross motor activities. This activity builds hand-to-eye coordination along with muscle movements.

Things You Need:
-Soap bubble maker
-A hoop
How To Do:
-Your toddler standing ahead of you holding the hula hoop and waiting to catch the bubbles through it.
-Use the bubble maker to blow out soap bubbles into the air.
-Let your toddler catch as many as they can.

  1. Balloon/ Ball Hockey
    Even a simple game of hockey involves a lot of coordination to guide the balls to a goal. This game, while being fun, will improve motor control and eye coordination over the bat and balloon/ball.

Things You Need:
-Blown-up balloons
-Toy hockey sticks
-Laundry baskets
How To Do:
-Use the laundry baskets to set goal posts at opposite ends of the room. You can tie a balloon/ ball with a ribbon and hang it too.
-Blow up a number of balloons of different colors such that they can easily fit into the laundry baskets.
-Encourage them to guide the balloons to the goal posts.

  1. Maze Game
    Draw some mazes on the flour or a chart sheet of your choise with different colours . Now ask your little one to walk across it.
    You can also let them follow the path through toys/ vehicals.

Things You Need:

-Toys that can be used to trace the maze.
-Colored tapes or calk sticks
How To Do:
-Set up the maze by drawing it at one end of the room.
-Let your toddler jump,walk over them or follow by their toy vehicles.

  1. Outdoor Frisbee Practice
    This is an excellent activity to get your toddler to play outdoors and learn skills such as running, movement coordination and object tracking.

Things You Need:
-Soft Frisbee
How To Do:
-This activity is best done on a wide lawn or roof.
-Make your toddler stand at a distance from you.
-Throw the frisbee towards them and prompt them to catch it mid-air.
-Allow your kid to move around and get some exercise, and developing gross motor skills.

8. Pee-Ka-Booo
Even a free play can let you toddlers develop lots of skill. If it is hide and seek it gather lots of excitement and fun as well.

Things You Need:
-Flash cards/any source of alphabets/numbers.
-Sticky notes

How To Do:
-Stick alphabets/numbers all around your room at some distance to create fun.
-Make your toddler find them by saying or showing the particular thing u want them to find .
-You can show them flash cards and ask to find that picture in the room .
-This will help them getting knowledge with some exercise, and developing gross motor skills too.

9. Ribbon painting

Toddlers loves to explore colors, Let them build their imaginations.

Things You Need:
How To Do:
-Take a large piece of ribbon and hold high. Ask for kid to catch.
-Dip it with paint (more color more fun).
-Drop it into the sheet, now ask your toddler to move the ribbon to make different patterns.
-Let them explore the world full of colors and ribbon patterns.

10. Fun With Musical Instruments
Combining musical sounds with motor activity is one of the most fun games your child can play for a long time. It helps build their gross and fine motor skills in a
fun way.

Things You Need:
-Instruments for children such as drums, xylophone, bells, etc
How To Do:
-Set up musical instruments in them playroom.
-Pick up the drum stick and show them how to strike on the drum to make sounds.
-Teach how to grasp the stick in the right position to strike the instrument.
-Cheer and encourage them every time.

11. Balance Game

Where ever either in playground or trip u find a curb or a wide piece of wood on the ground, big stone or rocks ask your kids to balance while walking across them. Be sure to stand nearby to avoid fall off.

12. Encourage for ribbon move,dance by cutting long stripes of different colours, swimming, playing catch, cycling and walking .

13. Play a game of “Freeze Dance.” There are lots of kids-friendly tunes play them. At random intervals, hit pause, challenging your kids to “freeze” when the music stops.

Simple games and activities can definitely be helpful for your child’s well-being. Make sure you try out these fun and entertaining games with your little one soon!

Do comment me if you like these ideas!!

How to engage toddlers through PLAY?

Educating children through play is the best way to promote their motor skills and exercise both. It can also be a great way to enhance communication skills in toddlers, especially when they are still learning to talk and express themselves.

-Play is one of the main ways of children learning and development. It helps in building self confidence by giving them a chance to be a boss ,which develops sense of there own abilities.
-Play is very important to a child’s development, it is an integral part of a child’s Early Years Foundation Stage and supports their learning journey too.Children can develop many skills through the power of play such as language skills, emotions, creativity ,social skills, building imagination, problem solving,working with others, sharing and much more.

Ways for playful homeschooling-

Market is full of methods which are related to homeschooling, but are they helpful to your child as well?
Every child is different and unique in all expect.
A mother only knows her child so first thing to do is to prepare a list and fix a schedule for your child, (Yes schedule is very important ,even in early stage too). Which will include all the topics u want to teach your child in particular span of time.

Providing some wonderful play idea which will help them learn in a number of ways:

  1. Playing with Sand and water can be an early introduction to science and maths, eg learning that water is fluid, not solid, and that it can be measured in different sized containers.
  2. Playing with dough or clay, drawing and painting pictures, dressing up, playing with dolls and cars can built creativity, imagination and expression of feelings.
  3. Building blocks, jigsaws and shape sorters can help with recognizing different shapes and sizes, putting things in order and developing logic.
  4. Playing ball games, dancing, running, climbing all help to develop body movement, strength, flexibility and co-ordination skills.
  5. Singing, playing simple music instruments help to develop rhythm, listening and hearing capabilities.
  6. Encouraging kids for reading can develop sense of words. As they will copy language and behavior.
    Remember, learning should be fun at this age. Do things/activities that they like or the way they like. Never force them to do as we want, as this will drive a negative impact on then n they will stop enjoying it. May be they never try that one again. They might find unusual ways of doing things – be patient and enjoy with them. Show them how things work, but if they want to experiment, let them.

Talking to children about day-to-day things is important as well . They will watch those around them and copy language and behaviour. The more u talk the more they learn. Allow them to make there own views in bathing,cooking,dressing and feeding. This will built sense of listing and imagination as well.

Encouraging children for outdoor play is extremely beneficial and necessary for their development. Outdoor play helps them to learn lots about the environment,it uses whole body which built muscular movements and develop gross motor skills too.

Make them aware about failure. Some activities require multiple tries to get right, allow and motivate them untill they succeeded. Help children to face their own fears and try new things, without the fear of failing.

Hope you find this post useful!!

Awaiting for your comments.

Thank You