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Gross Motor Activities for Preschoolers
Table of Contents
- Gross Motor Activities for Preschoolers
- Why Gross Motor Activities for Preschoolers are Important
- Animal Walks
- Jumping Games
- Parachute Play
- Follow the Leader
- Freeze Dance
- Hula Hoop Challenges
- Mirror Moves
- Animal Yoga
- Indoor Obstacle Courses
- Dance Parties
- Shadow Tag
- Nature Walks
- Laundry Basketball
- Freeze Tag
- Balloon Bop
- Paper Airplane Contests
- Wacky Obstacle Courses
- Bean Bag Toss
Hey parents! It’s me, your favorite fun and geeky dad here again. I hope this finds you and the kiddos doing well on this lovely Friday! I wanted to take a few minutes to share some of my favorite gross motor activities that I’ve been using lately to get my energetic preschoolers up and moving in an engaging way.
With the weather cooling down now that it’s late August, it can be tempting to let the kids lounge around more, but I’ve found getting them active with some silly games and challenges is a great way to burn off extra energy. Plus, it’s a nice change of pace from our usual indoor play.
Why Gross Motor Activities for Preschoolers are Important
As you know, preschoolers have lots of energy and need plenty of time for active play each day. Gross motor activities for preschoolers help build their coordination, balance, and strength and are easy to set up at home or take on-the-go to the park or playground. Let’s get moving!
Grab this colorful limbo stick and have your child see how low they can go while walking under the stick. Lower it each round to see how low they can get. This gross motor activity for preschoolers builds flexibility and coordination.
Clear a space and use this colorful masking tape to make lines or shapes on the floor. Call out instructions like “jump from circle to circle” or “jump over the lines back and forth.” Jumping stones are also a fun and unique idea. Jumping games are great gross motor activities for preschoolers to build leg strength.
Grab this nylon kids parachute and have your child wiggle, shake and raise it up and down. Run underneath it or have a ball they can toss under the parachute and chase. Parachute play is always a hit with preschoolers as a fun gross motor activity.
Follow the Leader
Take turns being the leader doing various moves like giant steps, scurrying like a mouse wearing this mouse costume, stomping like an elephant in these adorable dinosaur rubber boots and more. Get creative and let your child lead too. Follow the leader is a silly gross motor activity for preschoolers.
Put on fun, lively music through this bluetooth speaker and have your child dance until the music stops, then they have to freeze in place like a statue. Repeat until the song ends. Dancing games are great gross motor activities for preschoolers.
Save empty water bottles or use these colorful ball pit balls and let your child roll or toss them to knock down paper towel tubes or blocks you’ve stacked up. Bowling builds hand-eye coordination as a fun gross motor activity. Or skip the DIY and buy this kid’s bowling set that includes 10 foam pins and 2 balls.
Use this sidewalk chalk to draw a hopscotch board outside or use masking tape inside. Practice jumping, hopping and balancing as you play. Hopscotch is a classic gross motor activity for preschoolers.
Hula Hoop Challenges
Get a few of these kid sized hula hoops and have your child practice spinning them around their waist, arms or legs. Make up games seeing how long they can keep it going. Hula hooping helps preschoolers build coordination through this gross motor activity.
Stand facing your preschooler and have them mirror your silly movements like touching your head, spinning around, jumping jacks and more. Then switch roles and mirror their dance moves. To make it even more engaging, hold these colorful rhythm ribbons or scarves while you mirror each other’s motions. The ribbons will add some extra visual pizzazz and fun. Mirroring helps boost coordination, rhythm and motor skills in young kids. It’s such a simple yet entertaining gross motor activity for preschoolers that can be done anywhere with just you and your child.
Look up animal-themed yoga poses for kids and act them out together on this colorful kids yoga mat. Try poses like frog, puppy, lion, butterfly and more for a fun twist on yoga. Animal yoga is an excellent gross motor activity for preschoolers.
Indoor Obstacle Courses
Set up an obstacle course inside using furniture and toys. Let them crawl under tables, climb over cushions, hop through hula hoops and walk the “balance beam” tape line wearing protective knee pads. Obstacle courses are fun gross motor activities for preschoolers.
Crank up bubbles and the tunes with help from this bubble machine. Have a silly dance party together. Incorporate different dance moves and free dance to really get your kids moving. Dancing is always a hit gross motor activity for preschoolers.
This classic playground game has one person designated as “it” who tries to step on the other players’ shadows to tag them. The other players run around trying to keep their shadow out of reach. To make it even more engaging, incorporate props like pool noodles for “it” to use for extra shadow-tagging power. Or add fun music to chase each other’s shadows to. Shadow tag gets kids running and jumping making it such an active gross motor activity for preschoolers. Play on a sunny day and let the shadow chasing begin!
Go for outdoor walks together using this kid-sized binocular set to spot interesting rocks, sticks, leaves, birds and more. Stop to examine items along the way. Nature walks are calming gross motor activities for preschoolers.
Ball up socks and have your child try to toss them into laundry baskets or bins set up like basketball hoops to improve their hand-eye coordination. Laundry basketball helps build gross motor skills.
One person is “it” and has to gently tag others wearing this tag belt with velcro bands, who then freeze in place. Continue until everyone is frozen, then start again. Freeze tag is a beloved gross motor activity for preschoolers.
Gently hit or bump a balloon up in the air and try to keep it from touching the ground using these colorful balloon batting paddles. Count how many times you can hit it before it falls. Balloon bop is an engaging gross motor activity for preschoolers.
Paper Airplane Contests
Fold paper airplanes together using these pre-cut paper airplane kits and have contests seeing whose flies the farthest, most accurately or stays up the longest. This gross motor activity for preschoolers builds hand-eye coordination.
Wacky Obstacle Courses
Tape paper plates to the floor like lily pads and have your child step from plate to plate while you time them with this colorful stopwatch. Get creative with obstacle course materials! Obstacle courses are great gross motor activities for preschoolers.
Bean Bag Toss
Set up a bucket or hula hoop as a target and have your preschooler practice tossing bean bags or small soft balls into it. Move further back to increase the challenge. You can make it cooperative by taking turns tossing the bags into the target together. Bean bag toss helps build hand-eye coordination and aiming skills. Or cheat and buy a whole set, like this one.
So there you have it – 21 fun gross motor activities for preschoolers to get your kids up and moving! By incorporating gross motor activities into your preschooler’s daily routine, you can help boost their coordination, balance, flexibility, and strength through play.
Make sure to include a variety of activities that work on different skills like animal walks for coordination, hula hooping for core strength, and dancing for rhythm. Mix up indoor and outdoor gross motor activities for preschoolers to keep things exciting.
The key is keeping it fun and playful while also helping your preschoolers build key gross motor skills through activity and movement. Don’t forget to include ball play, jumping, climbing, yoga, obstacle courses and more gross motor activities outlined above. And be sure to share your kids’ favorite gross motor activities in the comments below!