Ideas for Gross Motor Play in Your Tot-School & Preschool

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Today is the last day in our 5 days of Tot-School & Preschool Ideas series. Today we are going to talk about ideas for gross motor play, probably one of the most important things to include for our kids.

Get your kids moving with these fun gross motor play ideas for your toddler & preschooler! | www.GoldenReflectionsBlog.com

Here are the rest of the topics in this series, in case you missed them:

We all know that kids need to move! Movement is crucial to their overall development. All the other skills we talked about this week, fine motor, sensory, handwriting, practical life, all depend on movement! If your child is not building up strong muscles and healthy bodies, all these other skills will be lacking!

Children 6 years old and under are in what's called a hands-on learning phase. This also means all body movements for learning! It is so important for them to move and explore their world!

So today I am sharing my favorite ways to get kids moving.

Ideas for Gross Motor Play

A couple of fun ideas I have done with my 2-year-old are a tunnel play game and also a laundry basket push game.

Both of the activities above are great to work on proprioceptive and vestibular sensory input! We talked about it a little bit when we talked about including sensory activities in your tot-school and preschool, but here is a brief overview, in case you missed that.

What is the Vestibular System?

The vestibular system is composed of the middle/inner ear area and has to do with the sense of balance. So any of your large, gross motor movements, such as hanging upside down, walking a balance beam, crawling, rolling, spinning, swinging, all engage the vestibular system.

Children with sensory processing difficulties, often have a weakened vestibular system which does not allow them to regulate incoming sensory input properly.

What is Proprioceptive Input?

Proprioceptive input is sensory input gathered from large muscles and the spine. Many of the same activities that include the vestibular system that we talked about above are also great proprioceptive input! Other things like jumping, skipping, jumping jacks, running, are all great proprioceptive sensory activities.

 Gross Motor Play Ideas for Toddlers & Preschoolers

  • Scooter board activities
  • Relay races
  • Jumping
  • Hopping
  • Skipping
  • Running
  • Climbing
  • Riding a bike
  • Playing sports
  • Trampolines
  • Hiking
  • Swimming

These are just a few ideas to get you going.

I also have a couple of great gross motor play Pinterest boards you can follow, one for bilateral coordination activities and one for vestibular & proprioceptive activities.

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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3 Comments

  1. Hi Heather, thanks so much for sharing this post at the Love to Learn Linky. You have some great ideas for encouraging gross motor play which is so important for health reasons, coordination, and even brain development! I can’t wait to see more of your posts, I hope you will come share again this Thursday!

  2. We can’t get enough gross motor play! These are great ideas!

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

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