During the wintertime, preschoolers can feel pretty cooped up. Because there will likely be times when outdoor activity isn’t possible during this season, it’s important to have physical indoor activities to help keep your preschoolers busy. These include ones that capitalize on gross motor skills — those activities that cause your children to use large muscles and whole-body movements.
To help, here is more information about the stages of gross motor skill development and suggestions from three websites about gross motor activities that are appropriate for your preschooler.
Hands On As We Grow
HandsOnAsWeGrow.com used to have a great list of 26 activities to consider. Now, they’ve updated it to include 35! Here are two activities.
- The Floor is Lava: In a room without carpeting, say in a kitchen with linoleum tile, tape down pieces of brightly colored construction paper on the floor. Space them out so that your preschool can take steps or mini jumps to get from one to the next without stepping on the floor itself. After all, the floor is lava! Only do this on a type of flooring where you won’t damage the floor when removing the tape. Painter’s tape can be a great choice..
- Puzzle Scavenger Hunt: Get a chunky puzzle set—perhaps one, for example, that lists numbers 1 through 20. Hide the pieces throughout the home in places that are age-appropriate for your children and send them on a scavenger hunt to find the pieces and put them into the puzzle. Hint: Write down where you’ve hidden the pieces, just in case! You wouldn’t want one or more pieces to go missing and ruin the puzzle.
The Measured Mom
Let’s move like an animal! Pick a place in your home where there is plenty of space to move and then assign your child an animal to mimic. Ideas the site shared to get you started include asking your child to move like a penguin (where your child puts their ankles close together and waddles, while keeping arms at their sides) or a frog (where they hunch down and then hop). You can also ask them to make appropriate animal sounds and be as creative as you’d like—and you could also have your child mimic an animal and you can try to guess the species.
Plus, you can create a wiggle jar (here are insights into making one). This jar will contain slips of paper that describe physical movements for your child to make. Your preschooler can reach in, grab a slip, and then follow the instructions on the card selected. For example, “Touch the sky and then your feet five times in a row.”
Very Well Family
This site points out how there are plenty of dance-related songs your preschooler can enjoy that can help to develop gross motor skills: “The Wheels on the Bus,” “I’m a Little Teapot,” “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” and more. You should be able to find these songs online — and you can also challenge your children to create their own dance moves.
If you’ve got hula hoops or similar ring-like objects, place them on the floor and provide your child with balls or bean bags. How many times can they get the thrown object inside of the ring?
You Can Count on Horizon Education Centers
We provide affordable quality childcare services that include educational and enrichment opportunities at these Northeast Ohio locations. We recognize the value of gross motor skill development and incorporate fun activities that help children develop these skills.