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!
I hope you have been enjoying this Tot-School & Preschool Ideas series I have been doing this week in connecting with the iHomeschool Network and their Summer Hopscotch! There are a ton of other homeschool bloggers sharing their series this week too, so be sure to head over to the page and check out all the other topics!
Here are the rest of the topics in this series, in case you missed them:
- Practical Life Skills
- Fine Motor Skills
- Sensory Activities
- Handwriting (Pre-writing)
- Gross Motor Skills
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
One of my favorite things I have found recently are the ABC's of Movement Flashcards. They were designed by Laurie Gombash, a Physical Therapist in order to promote movement as well as language skills! These cards are great to use are pre-writing activities too! Kids will be able to form the letters better with their pencils when the can feel the entire movement of that letter through their bodies!
You can read my official review and also see a video demonstration on how the cards work over at my Why Movement is Important for Learning post.
The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks would be ideal for your older preschooler! I absolutely LOVE this ebook by Heather Haupt and I recommend it all the time here on GRB. There are 60 Brain Break cards included that give you tons of movement ideas to put into your day! These are perfect for your older children too, getting the entire family moving together!
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 composted of the middle/inner ear area and have 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. In children with sensory processing difficulties, they often have a weakened vestibular system which does not allow them to regulate in-coming 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
- Riding a bike
- Playing sports
These are just a few ideas to get you going!
You can also find me on Facebook where I share tons of ideas every day and we have a lot of fun chatting too!