Gross Motor Pre-K through Second Grade
Balancing: develops control and coordination through one- or two-sided activities
⦁ Walk along a chalk line, tape line, or string line. Work on side stepping, backwards, and walking forwards. You can place obstacles on the line to step over to increase the challenge.
⦁ Use a balance beam or a stabilized narrow piece of wood. Vary the levels (inclines and declines) and width of the board.
⦁ Climbing steps with and without a railing assist.
⦁ Perform activities with one foot on a stool to challenge balance.
⦁ Kicking — switch feet to develop both legs. Change up the activity - Stand from a spot and kick a ball, run up and kick a ball, or kick a rolled ball. You can also switch up the size of the ball to increase or decrease the challenge
Crawling: develops coordination, laterality and synchronizes right and left sides of the body
⦁ Treasure hunt crawl to find hidden objects and return them to a designated area
⦁ Crawl through an obstacle course — through (boxes, hoops, tunnels), under objects (tables, blankets, chairs, ropes) around objects (boxes, chairs, toys), over objects (pillow, blankets, mats). By incorporating directionality concepts, you are also working on motor planning and sequencing skills.
⦁ Follow the line — set up a string, chalk, or tape line for the children to crawl along.
⦁ Follow the leader- crawl behind someone
Jumping: develops overall gross motor skills including balance and coordination
⦁ Over objects — strings, tape line, bean bags, stuffed animals.
⦁ Jumping obstacle course with varying lengths of jumps, stringing together multiple jumps, working on jumping feet in and out, sideways jumps, backward jumping.
⦁ Jump up to reach/touch items
Hopping: the next step after jumping, develops body control, coordination, and balance
⦁ Hop into and out of hoops or over lines
⦁ Hopscotch — changing pattern up with multiple hops in a row
⦁ Hopping from one foot to another for a number of trials or amount of time
Ball activities: works on coordination and visual motor skills
⦁ Play catch- change up the distance between people, size of the ball, throw overhand, underhand, chest pass
⦁ Use a balloon- it moves slower and can be easier to catch. Play balloon tennis with a racquet working on timing, sequencing, body awareness, graded control, and motor planning.
⦁ Use targets- they can be places on a wall or on a floor.
⦁ Bowling or rolling activities- vary the distance the ball has to travel and what you are knocking over. Change your position — they can roll the ball while in different positions (laying on their belly, hands and knees, kneeling) and push with one or two hands. Have the child sit on their bottoms with hands supporting them from behind and kick the ball with one or two feet. Crab walk stance to increase the difficulty.
⦁ Running and tag games- change speed and direction (forwards, backwards, side shuffle), use directionality concepts — run to the left, around the tree, between the bikes,
⦁ Walk up and down hills, roll down hills, bear walk or crawl up a hill
⦁ Bubbles- kick bubbles, clap them with your hands, catch then with your pinchers
Gross Motor 3rd-8th Grade
Brain gym - this is a great warm up activity that stimulates bilateral coordination, balance and gets the child thinking with both hemispheres of their brain.
⦁ Jumping jacks
⦁ Scissor jumps
⦁ Crab walking or bear walking/ animal walks - kangaroo jumps, frog jumps
⦁ Skipping, Galloping with both left and right foot leading
⦁ Have child lay on their belly during play/games/electronic time: encourage no hands to face
⦁ Arms: Full push-ups, knee push-ups, wall push-ups, army crawl- pull your body along the floor without using your arms
⦁ Legs- Wall sits, squats, all jumping activities, on hands and knees kick legs straight back, leg raises while laying on your side.
⦁ Core- Sit-ups/crunches, v-sit- lay on back lifting head, arms and legs off floor, roll up like a ball laying on your back, bridges, fly like superman and hold arms, legs and head off of floor while laying on your stomach- hold these positions as long as you can
⦁ Stand on one leg, stand heel-to-toe
⦁ Challenge the above activities by putting your hands on your hips, closing your eyes, standing on a pillow
⦁ Walk on a line heel-to-toe, on toes, backwards
⦁ Create an obstacle course:
⦁ Use items you have at home to have kids move around, over, under or through obstacles (i.e. pillows, cushions, chairs, tables, tape on floor) this develops skills while also developing motor planning and sequencing
⦁ Army crawl under obstacles
⦁ Jump off of chairs/ pillows or a step stool
⦁ Walk on a taped line balance beam - heel to toe, on toes, on heels
⦁ Jump to taped lines on the floor - increasing in distance to challenge student
⦁ Side jump or side hop on one or two feet over the line
⦁ Balloon Bop- see how many times you can hit balloon to keep it in the air, or create a boundary and play balloon volleyball
⦁ Sidewalk chalk- get on hands and knees to create!
⦁ Write different gross motor skills on a fun shape of paper and have your child pick a card and perform the activity.
⦁ Jazz it up even more and play musical spots- place papers on floor and jump to each spot- when the music stops, they have to perform that activity, or put paper in Easter eggs and hide them!
OT & PT Website Resources (Same as on OT page)
Visual motor exercises: