5 Simple and Fun Exercises to Develop Motor Skills
Gross motor skills are the movements we make using the large muscles in our bodies. These include the legs and arms as well as the torso. We know that children develop these skills at different rates depending on their developmental level. As they grow up, their muscles start to become larger and stronger, helping them perform more complex physical movements like playing with playground equipment such as the monkey bar.
Gross motor skills are made up of many different components. Some of these help the kid have balance, some are related to coordination and muscle strength. Gross motor skills also help in terms of a child developing body awareness.
If kids have trouble with developing gross motor skills when they are young, it may be difficult for them to perform activities like running or jumping in the future. But don’t worry as there are many simple and fun activities that you can try to give your child a boost in their development. If your child has any trouble with fine motor skills on the other hand, we definitely recommend checking out child appropriate mobile apps that you can practice with, anytime, anywhere.
Here are five simple exercises that will boost your child’s gross motor skills:
Hop on the trampoline!
Who wouldn’t have fun on a trampoline? Doing this fun exercise greatly improves your child’s balance. For children with sensory sensitivities, it could also be a great tool. It is easy enough to find around the local area, or if you feel like your child would not be comfortable using the public ones, you can get a mini-trampoline for your backyard to use at home. Just make sure that you take precautions to keep your child safe.
Hopscotch: A Classic!
Playing hopscotch addresses many aspects of gross motor skill development at once. Your child’s ability to balance on one leg, hop in different directions, and jump as well as their sense of motor accuracy will be developed all in one game. Balance and coordination are important for this exercise. As a bonus, you will be able to practice number skills with your child as well!
Build Your Own Obstacle Course
This is another great way to get your child moving! You could do this at home or your backyard. Indoors, you can turn your living room into an obstacle course by putting down pillows and rugs and all the other furniture. Create areas where your child can crawl on and under, maybe even go through. You can use things like ropes and hula-hoops outdoors to create the same effect. Then have your child go through the obstacles using creative movements like bear walking, and adjust the difficulty of the setting to your child’s liking. They will gain skills in terms of balance, jumping, crawling, climbing, and running.
Balloon volleyball is the perfect game to keep your child engaged while improving their motor skills. Kneel on the ground and try to keep the balloon off the ground for as long as possible. You can set up some rules like your child can’t rest their bottom on the ground, and they can only touch the balloon once.
Bubbles, Bubbles, Lots of Bubbles!
Bubbles are so unpredictable that not two games will be the same! You can blow bubbles and have your child pop as many as they can. They will run and jump around to catch the bubbles. If you are outside, the wind will blow away the bubbles, making it a bit more challenging and all the more fun. This exercise will make them move in ways that require shifts in balance and weight suddenly.
Otsimo is an educational tech company, specialising in developing special education apps in the name of democratizing special education. They have two different apps: Otsimo Special Education AAC and Otsimo Speech Therapy SLP.