Gross motor skills are such an important part of the healthy development and children of all ages. In fact, gross motor activities not only get the kids moving and active and allow them to release much needed energy, they also are responsible for helping children regulate their sensory needs.

Here are some activities to help develop your child’s gross motor skills and to enjoy doing with your children.


Animal Walks – Bear

Start in the standing position. Bend over and put both hands on the ground. Now, walk forward with the same leg and arm. So, move your right arm and right leg forward, then the left leg and arm at the same time, then repeat. For additional challenge, try keeping your legs and arms straight. Don’t forget to watch where you are going!

Benefits:

  • Animal walks using the hands and feet, requires cross-patterning which helps the body move in a coordinated way
  • Upper body strength
  • Hamstring flexibility
 
 

Animal Walks – Crab

Start by sitting on the floor. Lean backwards and place your hands on the ground, fingers pointing to toes. You should look like a “table top” now. Now walk in any direction, while holding your bottom off the ground and your back straight.

Benefits:

  • Animal walks on hands and feet requires cross-patterning which helps the body move in a coordinated way
  • Upper body strength
 
 

Log Rolls

Lie on the ground with your body outstretched. Hold a bean bag between your feet or your hands. Put your arms straight out above your head.  Then roll onto your side and do a complete rotation of the body, remaining parallel to the surface. Do not bend your head and keep your body straight all the time.

Benefits:

  • Rolling helps to stimulate the vestibular system in the inner ear which contributes to balance and spatial orientation
  • Vestibular stimulation helps both sides of the brain communicate, which helps with body awareness and coordination