How to Help Children with Gross Motor Activities:
Helping children master gross motor skills involves some planning but at the same time can be, and is quite simple to make developing these skills successful.
Making sure children have a large area to explore and play in is the first step in providing one of the main tools needed for gross motor development. Large areas give the children the opportunity to run, jump, walk, and opens up the door for so many games to play which involve gross motor skills.
Examples of outdoor games include, Duck, Duck, Goose, What Time Is It Mr. Wolf, Leap Frog, Freeze Tag, and Follow The Leader, to name a few. Having an outdoor outlet and some dancing ribbons, opens up any backyard into a large dance floor for the children to move around freely.
Going on a bike ride is a great way to develop large muscles in children’s legs. If you have a school nearby, during summer holidays and when the parking lot is vacant during school months is a great opportunity to practice tricycle and bike riding. If you live on a quiet street, bike rides around the neighborhood are fun as well. With both you would want to make sure there is adult supervision at all times.
Playing with a variety of sports balls is also a great way for children to develop gross motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination. For example, soccer balls are a great way to get children running and kicking at the same time. It may take a while for them to get the running and kicking coordination skill down, but practice makes perfect. That is what’s so great about learning through play. There is no time limit, no rush, and no failure. By giving children the tools, space, and time they need, they can develop at their own pace while having fun.
Dancing is one of my favorite gross motor activities. I like watching children dance because not only is it so cute, but at the same time dancing also helps children develop their gross motor skills, coordination skills, and emotional skills. Dancing is a great creative movement activity as well.
You may be wondering how dancing can help children develop emotionally. Emotional development has a lot to do about “self”. How a child feels, decisions they make, and forming relationships with others are just a few examples of what areas develop. Therefore, when a child listens to music they dance to the music according to how the music makes them feel.
Having ribbons available for children to use while dancing will help develop hand-eye coordination as the children will wave the ribbon around to the music while dancing.
Using music as a gross motor activity is a great tool to help children develop not only their gross motor skills but also their emotional and coordination skills as well.
Swing sets and jungle gyms are also great gross motor tools. A Swings are great for children to learn how to swing and coordinate pumping their legs to get them swinging higher and higher. Jungle Gyms are great for using all major muscles in the arms and legs. Playing on a jungle gym involves climbing, jumping, balance and most of all, having fun while doing it. If you don’t have either pieces of equipment in your yard, a local nearby park or school yard will make a fun, educational outing. Adult supervision is very important for these activities.
In the autumn season, raking leaves and jumping in them, and going for a nature walk are fun additional gross motor activities you can do while enjoying the cool crisp weather.
In the winter time making snow angels, a snowman, a snow fort, making foot prints, and pulling toboggans are fun ways to develop gross motor muscles.
Gross Motor activities for a rainy day: You can still develop gross motor muscles even when you’re stuck inside on a rainy day. Some fun indoor gross motor activities include, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, Musical Chairs, Sleeping Bunnies, Sandy Girl/Boy, dancing, etc.
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