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Involve your children in the autumn garden jobs and improve their gross motor skills while enjoying some great shared moments

With autumn now in full swing there is lots of tidying up to be done in the garden such as clearing all of those fallen leaves. Use these chores as a way to help your child improve their gross motor skills.

Gross motor or physical skills are those which require whole body movement and are important in order for children to perform everyday activities such as walking, running, climbing, throwing and catching. They are also vital for everyday self care skills such as dressing (where you need to be able to stand on one leg to put your other leg into your trousers without falling over).

Here are some ideas for gross motor activities:

1. Picking up leaves and throwing them high into the air to get the whole body moving. Check that hedgehogs are not hiding in the leaves beforehand! I have yet to see a child not enjoying playing with leaves (or adults for that matter).

2. Using brooms to sweep up leaves gets the shoulders making those big arm movements.

3. Hopscotch outside with numbers just chalked onto a patch of concrete is a good way for children to practise their balancing skills and standing on one leg which many can find difficult.

4. Why not create a garden obstacle course to include walking over unstable surfaces (such as logs), crawling under fallen trees and jumping over piles of leaves etc.

The Little Movers bag is another great way to improve gross motor skills and is great for using inside on wet days. You also have the option of purchasing it in blue, pink or varied colours.