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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.
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
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
- Riding a bike
- Playing sports
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.