Keeping children indoors and engaging them without screens is a challenging task by itself. Children between ages 2 to 5 years exhibit great interest towards gross motor activities. Activities like lifting and moving heavy weight objects, jumping, running and challenging activities would excite them the most. Developing gross motor skills is very crucial for young toddlers and preschoolers as it helps them to acquire fine motor skills for grasping pencils and hold them for longer at later ages. To encourage your kids to move around the house and quench their craving for risky play, here are some gross motor activities that your children can do with utmost fun.
1. Pillow obstacle race
Grab some pillows, cushion couches and arrange them on the floor one by one in a line.
Ask your children to crawl, hop, and walk over the pillows.
You can keep a timer to make it more interesting.
Crossing the obstacles improves gross motor skills such as balance, strength and co-ordination and also a great sensory experience for young toddlers.
Mark numbers on the floor with a chalk or sketch.
Throw a flat object or a stone on a number.
Hop into each square one by one and skip the number where the stone is thrown .
Make sure to remind your kid to pick up the stone while by passing the square. Hopping is an excellent activity to work on balance, hand-eye co-ordination and master body control.
3. Bubbles and balloons
We bet your kid will surely love two things : bubbles and balloons. After all, adults love them too. Isn’t it?
A simple activity of blowing the bubbles and chasing them can entertain your kids endlessly. This helps your kid to co-ordinate their hands, eyes and legs with lots of running, hopping and jumping.
4. Toss the balls
Take out your laundry basket.
Take some colorful balls.
You can also use tissue papers rolled as ball.
Aim and throw the balls into the basket.
You can turn it into a multi-player game by keeping two sets of balls and baskets.
Tossing is good for strengthening the arm and shoulders and also for developing integrated movement, hand-eye co-ordination.
5. Go on indoor scavenger hunt
This is a perfect activity to try out on days when you can’t venture out.
Make a list of things around the house which your child finds interesting.
Hide them in different parts of the house.
Say the name of each object from the list and ask your child to find the item.
6. Be an animal
Leap like a frog! Walk like a penguin! Creep like a snake!
Have all the fun you want with this gross motor activity. This game is sure to bring loads of laughter and lets your kid work on co-ordination, core strength and balance.
7. Walk on a line
As simple as it seems, walking on a line has lots of benefits. This activity is a full body exercise and it focuses on posture control, strengthening of muscles and spine.
Take a colored tape, stick it on the floor as a straight line and ask your child to walk along the line.
You can also make patterns like zigzag lines, curves or any other shapes to make it more interesting and challenging for your little ones.
8. Lava on the floor
Take some colored sheets or cushion covered and spread them on the floor with spaces such that the floor is visible. Kids can walk or hop anywhere except for the floor because there is lava on the floor. You can turn on the music and ask them to move around until the music stops. If they accidently step on the floor, they are out and game is over! This is a creative way to engage your kids with movement, visual motor skills and eye-body co-ordination.
9. Practice chores around the house
There is no better way to play than engaging kids in household chores (And do you know they really do love it!). Chores not only teach independence and responsibility, but it also good for children to acquire language skills and gross motor development. Simple chores that you can give to your 2-5 year old kids are:
Putting clothes in laundry basket
Feeding the pets
Washing the vegetables
Setting up the table
Put away toys in their storage box etc.,
10. Straw and pompom race
You’ll need only three things for this activity: tape, pompom and straw. Stick the tape on the floor in a straight line. Now stick another strip of tape of the same length leaving some space. Place the pompom at one end of the tape. Blow the straw to keep the pompom moving. The key challenge is to keep the pompom moving in the space between the two taped lines.
This super simple activity is great for gross motor as well as fine motor skills( strengthening of hand muscles) which are crucial for writing