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What’s in the cupboard? Gross motor skills

In our new series we will be looking at different activities that you can do with your child at home without spending a penny! This week we are looking at 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, climbing, throwing and catching.

Here are some ideas for gross motor activities you can do with the family.

  1. Belly-crawling and crawling on all fours helps children to not only align their body ready for walking but also helps with balance necessary to hop and skip.  Try having crawling races, crawling tig or crawling follow-my-leader where the whole family can join in.
  2. Children need to be able to explore how their body feels when it is moving in different ways.  You can always have a “How are you going to move day?” where they can explore different ways of moving forwards, backwards, hopping, spinning and sliding.
  3. Spinning surprisingly may be able to help with early reading as it helps with the convergence of the eyes.  If a child does not want to spin then do not force it.  But if they do then allow them to do it slowly at first going one way, stopping and then spinning in the opposite direction until they feel dizzy.
  4. Parachute games are very good for big up and down arm movements.  You can always use a bedsheet or duvet cover.  You will need 3 or 4 people to help hold the corners.  If you put on a couple of soft toys then they can get them to bounce up and down and see how high they can go.  Children also love just lying down underneath and experiencing the sensation of the wind as the sheet goes up and down.

If you want to develop your child’s gross motor skills further or are struggling for present ideas to give to friends and relatives, the Little Movers bag is a perfect choice.  As with all our toy collections they come with a detailed instruction sheet of activities that have proven to be successful in the classroom.  The bag contains a number of different items to continue the develpment of gross motor skills through using large and small scarves, ribbon wands, different sensory balls and extra large balloons.