Body Awareness is important not only to build overall strength and core muscle but to realize where their body is in space (i.e. where their body is in relation to other objects).
First of all, make sure your child has plenty of time to run around, climb, play and even do some work, such as gardening or helping with other chores outside.
If you live in the city, find a park, or a vacant lot or another suitable place where you can go and get some physical exercise. Even in cold weather, dress up warmly and go out and develop your child's gross motor skills and body awareness while enjoying the outdoors.
10 Body Awareness Activities for Kids
1 || Play with a large ball
Encourage your child to kick the ball, using one foot and then the other. Then throw the ball and catch it too.
2|| Ride a bike
Encourage your child to ride a bike, a push bike or pedal bike with or without side-wheels, according to your child's ability.
3 || Play “Simon Says”
Say an action that your child must copy. If your child needs a visual cue, complete the movement yourself as you describe it. You can include parts of the body, gross motor movements, silly noises etc.
4 || Teach your child about spatial relations
To teach your child spatial relations, ask them to stand in front of a chair, behind a chair, next to the chair, on top of the chair, and crouch under the chair.
5 || Improve lateral movement
To develop their sense of laterality, have them kneel on the floor, then instruct them to turn to lift their left hand, their right leg etc. Yoga moves can also be a great way to work on this.
6 || Shadow mimic play
Have your child to be your shadow and mimic all your actions as you walk about and perform simple actions (i.e. marching in place, cross crawls, bringing elbows to the knee, raising arms above the head etc).
7 || Dance or move to action songs
Learn action songs and perform the actions as you sing them. (You can also use dance competition videos or games if you are not able to be outside). You can find some great ideas here in my 10 movement songs for kids post.
8 || Imitate animal movements
Ask your child to imitate the movement of different animals: creep like a snake, waddle like a duck, hop like a rabbit etc… the creativity on this one is endless. (I enjoy using Fundanoodle's Muscle Mover Cards for this activity – Lowercase and Uppercase cards are available).
9 || Work on balance
Encourage your child to balance on one leg, and then the other for as long as possible. Use balance beams or “walk the line” with a piece of painters tape on the floor. Nature playscapes are also great for this, they usually have large logs for balancing on.
10 || Focus on proprioception
Provide lots of proprioceptive input through heavy work ideas. This provides input of how the muscles, joints, head and trunk move and work.
Fundanoodle's Muscle Mover Cards are an excellent way to work on basic body awareness activities and then move into letter formation and recognition. Each set comes with 26 animal movement or sound ideas that correspond with each letter of the alphabet.
They also come with the small dry erase marker to use with each card. They easily clean off when you are done so you can use them over and over again! Uppercase Muscle Mover Cards and Lowercase Muscle Mover Cards are perfect for children ages 3-6.
For more ideas, check out my Pinterest board below.