10 activities to develop gross motor skills for toddlers
Kids develop gross motor skills at different rates. But when young kids have trouble with those skills, it can make gross motor activities like running, jumping and throwing difficult.
Gross Motor Skills Activities For Toddlers
The Rowing Game
At this stage of your toddler’s life, he enjoys music more. He might even try to sing songs with you. Sit on the floor across from each other, hold hands and begin to rock like a boat. This will be easy because your baby is probably going through a stage where they love to rock. Sing the song “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and after each verse sing the next a bit faster while speeding up the rocking. Your little one will enjoy this time with you and will probably ask you to do it again.
Laundry Basket Ball As A Gross Motor Skills Activity
Maybe your toddler already likes to climb in and out of your laundry basket. So why not create a fun sports activity you can play together? Set up the basket and gather plastic balls or small pillows. Anything soft will work for this game. Stand with your toddler or get on your knees to be on the same level. Then take turns tossing the “balls” into the basket. This will help to build your toddler’s upper body strength, eye-hand coordination, and they will learn how to take turns. When they make a basket, be sure to clap and cheer them on. This is so they completely understand the concept of the game.
Laundry Basket Wagon
This is another fun laundry basket activity. Make a handle on the basket by tying a string to one end. Gather stuffed animals and baby dolls and set them up inside the basket. Show your toddler how to pull the animals and babies through the house like a wagon.
Musical Instrument Fun
Now that your toddler is learning more about music, one of the best activities you can incorporate into play is an array of musical instruments. Consider a set of percussion instruments for the development of your toddler’s gross motor skills. This selection of instruments will teach your little one how to shake the bells using their arms. And the sticks can be helpful in building arm strength when they glide them across the xylophone and bang them on the tambourine.
Bowling As A Gross Motor Skills Activity
This is the perfect stage to roll a ball back and forth to your toddler. So why not teach them how to bowl while you’re at it? You could easily play this game in the house or set it up in the driveway to enjoy the fresh air while having fun.
Little Birdie Copycat
This game gives your toddler a chance to mimic your moves while playing pretend. You should start by being the leader; spread your arms out pretending to be a bird. “Fly” around the room chirping and making different moves while he follows you copying you. Let him be the leader next and you will do what he does. This game will cause him to giggle while he exercises his body and brain. This is another activity that will also help with teaching him to take turns.
Make the Goal
Using a ball and a cardboard box you can create the scene of a successful soccer game. Turn the box on its side to make a goal. Take turns kicking the ball into the goal. This is another game that can be set up indoors or out and can be enjoyed by the whole family. This activity will keep your toddler moving. It will help with coordination, and it will teach him about taking turns. If you have more children, you can divide them up and use this as a team-building exercise.
Bubbles, Bubbles, and More Bubbles
Every child enjoys spending time with a bottle of bubbles. So make this a child development activity. Blow some bubbles and work together at catching them. Blow some toward the ground and show your toddler how to step on them. Allow your little one to have a turn blowing the bubbles toward the ground for you to step on. You will probably want to save this for a nice afternoon outdoors.
Playground Activities Are Great Gross Motor Skills Activities
Spending time on the playground is not only important for the development of your child’s gross motor skills, but it’s also a lot of fun. When your little munchkin wants to swing, show him how to kick his legs back and forth to make the swing go by themselves. Climbing on a jungle gym and sliding down a slide are highlights of a playground visit too. If it’s not possible for you to visit a playground often, the best thing to do is make a playground in your backyard.
On a cold and rainy day, your little one might be full of energy with no way to burn it off. With an indoor trampoline, that problem could be solved. The trampoline provides a safety bar to help your toddler keep a steady balance. This is the perfect way to keep them active and safe while playing indoors.
This article was first published on AfricaParent.com
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