Gross Motor Minute to Win It Games for Kids

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We've been home since the end of February and are going stir crazy. I decided to come up with some fun gross motor games for the kids to do outside (or inside). I posted them on social media, but wanted to have a place here on the site where you could find all the gross motor minute to win it games in one spot.

There is also a free printable download of the activities, with pictures, if you want to send it home with students or use in a telehealth or Google Classroom type setting.

Gross Motor Minute To Win It Games for Kids

#GrossMotorChallenge Activity 1 – Ball Target

Items you will need:

  • a bin of balls
  • target
  • timer

We used our archery target and a bin of plastic balls we had. Gather anything you can use as a target. You could use a piece of paper taped to the side of the house or blanket, etc. ⁣

⁣⁣⁣Grab a container of balls or objects that can be thrown safely at the target. You could also use bean bags, tennis balls etc, whatever you have. ⁣

⁣⁣⁣Set your timer for one minute and see how many balls your child can hit the target with. ⁣

⁣⁣One thing I will note, we did end up raising the target so that it was more in line with their eyes. So when you set up your target, keep that in mind with your child’s height. ⁣

⁣⁣My kids really enjoyed this one and they played it multiple times. ⁣

⁣⁣This activity is a great way to warm up the upper extremities (arms), as well as visual-motor practice, motor planning, and so many great skills. ⁣​

#GrossMotorChallenge Activity 2 – Ball Drop Relay Race 

Items you will need: 

  • bin of balls 
  • an empty bin or container 
  • timer 

For this activity, set the bin of balls at one end of your area and the empty bin on the opposite side. Leave enough space between the bins so that your child can run between them while carrying the balls. 

The object is to get as many balls as you can from the full container to the empty one. They have 1 minute to see how many they can get. We also set the rule that is any balls fell out of their arms or did not make it into the container they did not count. But you could adapt these rules to fit your child's abilities. 

When the timer goes off, have them count how many balls they were able to get into the empty container. 

This activity is a fun one for motor planning, endurance, and visual-motor skills. ​

#GrossMotorChallenge Activity 3 – Animal Hops 

​You don't need anything for this activity other than your timer. 

Pick an animal that hops (frog, kangaroo, rabbit etc), and see how many hops your child can make in a minute. 

Have them imitate which ever animal they choose for the hops. 

You can adapt this to where they can hop around a room or the yard. Or see how many hops they can make while staying in the same spot. If they need a visual for where to say, mark the spot with a piece of tape or a spot marker. 

Also, if your child needs a visual prompt, join in the fun yourself and show them how to hop like the animal they chose. 

For even more fun, have them make the animal noise that goes with the animal they chose as they hop. 

This is a great activity for bilateral coordination, motor planning, and endurance. 

#GrossMotorChallenge Activity 4 – Jumping Jacks

How many jumping jacks can you do in 1 minute?

All you need is a timer (I used my cell phone) and have your child see how many jumping jacks they can do in one minute.

If you have a child who is struggling to combine their arms and legs together for jumping jacks, start with just jumping in and out with their legs. Add the arms in once they have the leg portion down.

You can also include a visual prompt on the ground for them to jump their legs out to if they need that added visual cue.

They can try to beat their best number or you can all play against each other's best numbers if you have more than one child.

This also makes a great brain break activity to do between subjects for school at home or during a telehealth therapy session.

This activity is working on bilateral coordination, endurance, and motor planning.

#GrossMotorChallenge Activity 5 – Wall Push-Ups

Another easy activity where you just need a wall and a timer.

Have your child line up next to the wall, standing far enough back that their arms can extend straight to the wall.

Set the timer for one minute and see how many wall push-ups your child can do before the timer goes off!

If they need a visual for where to stand, put a piece of tape on the floor to give them a visual cue on where to stand. You can also put a piece of tape on the wall to mark where to put their hands if they need that cue.

Also, you can have your child do regular push-ups on the floor instead of the floor if they would rather try that. This is a good way to make the activity a little harder for older children.

In the second picture she had her hands out a little too far, so I had her pull them in for the next time.

You can also encourage them to keep their elbows in more at the sides instead of sticking out like hers are in the picture.

#GrossMotorChallenge Activity 6 – Crossing Midline Ball Bounce

You will need two to three balls that will bounce and a timer. ⠀

This activity is probably the most challenging out of all the ones I have shared. So it would be ideal for older children who may find the other activities a little boring.

Have your child hold both balls, one in each hand. Let one ball drop to the ground. While it is dropping, they will transfer the other ball to the hand that dropped the first ball and then catch the ball that bounced with the empty hand.

This is a little involved and so I put the video below so you can see how Ellie is doing this.

If timing them makes them feel anxious, just leave the timer out of this activity and see how many they can do in a row without missing a ball or dropping both balls.

If your child catches on with this quickly, you can grade up the activity up by putting a figure 8 on the floor with tape. I used painters tape on our sidewalk outside. ⠀

Then as they are bouncing and catching the balls, have them walk the figure 8, starting in the middle and moving towards the left side of the figure 8 pattern first. I also have a video of Ellie doing this. ⠀

My mother-in-law used this activity with Ellie one day at her house before she needed her to sit down and focus on an art project (Ellie is a vestibular and proprioception seeker and often fidgets or moves around a lot during seated work).

It's a great one to practice crossing midline and using both sides of the body together (bilateral coordination) as well as motor planning.

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For more activities like this one, check out my resources below.

Heather Greutman, COTA

Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant with experience in school-based OT services for preschool through high school. She uses her background to share child development tips, tools, and strategies for parents, educators, and therapists. She is the author of many ebooks including The Basics of Fine Motor Skills, and Basics of Pre-Writing Skills, and co-author of Sensory Processing Explained: A Handbook for Parents and Educators.

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CONTENT DISCLAIMER: Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.
All information on the Website is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for medical advice from a physician or your pediatrician. Please consult with a medical professional if you suspect any medical or developmental issues with your child. The information on the Websites does not replace the relationship between therapist and client in a one-on-one treatment session with an individualized treatment plan based on their professional evaluation. The information provided on the Website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied.

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All activities outlined on the Website are designed for completion with adult supervision. Please use your own judgment with your child and do not provide objects that could pose a choking hazard to young children. Never leave a child unattended during these activities. Please be aware of and follow all age recommendations on all products used in these activities. Growing Hands-On Kids is not liable for any injury when replicating any of the activities found on this blog.

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