Gross Motor Skills

by Claire Minnaar


A while ago we talked about ways to develop a child’s fine motor skills, and today we’re moving onto the larger body muscles. Gross motor skills are all about using physical exercise to help a child gain control of body parts like the arms and legs right down to hands and toes.

Once again, this needn’t be a chore for mom or child! Grab hold of this golden opportunity to run around and have a giggle with your little ones. While any type of sport or physical game will really do, here are a activities to get your brain buzzing with even more ideas:

  • Play with balloons and shout out different body parts that the little ones must use to keep it in the air.
  • Dust off the hula hoop and let the kiddos hula-hula, crawl through the hoop and use it as a “jump rope”.
  • Indulge in good ol’ fun-fair games like egg races, three-legged races and bunny-hopping.
  • Create a simple kiddie-friendly version of charades (using picture cards instead of words) where they have to act out things like “cat”, “sad dog” and “sleeping bird”.
  • Sing songs that require bodily movement, whether it be crazy dancing or following instructions like “head, shoulders, knees and toes”.
  • Classic children’s games like “what time is it Mr Fox”, Ring-a-Ring-a-Rosie, Hopscotch, Simon Says and Follow the Leader not only enhance gross motor skills, but encourage them to socialize with other kids.
  • Mix and match a variety of basic ball games – from ten-pin-bowling to soccer and pool volleyball.
  • Turn the living room or backyard into a full-blown obstacle course, using trees, pillows, boxes and playground toys as part of the course.

Original images and their credits available on Pinterest

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