Gross Motor Activities For Toddlers

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Old 27-Mar-2011
Gross Motor Activities For Toddlers

Our body is very efficient in all types of movements, because there are large muscle groups that provide balance to the entire body. Without this balance, the mobility of the body is bound to get hampered. You must have seen how infants struggle to sit or walk. This is because such muscle groups that provide stability have not yet developed in them. A childís motor development occurs from the age of eight months and until he/she turns two, which is when the child is able to walk, run and perform various other movements. These abilities are known as gross motor skills. Apart from providing body the necessary balance, these skills also provide postural control like helping the infants to control their heads so that they can stabilize their gaze and also track moving objects. These skills though inbuilt, can be improved upon through proper activities. Once the child learns to exercise the large muscle groups, it is imperative that he/she keeps doing the same, so that the muscles support the gross motor skills. In the following lines, we have provided various activities that enhance the gross motor skills in toddlers.

Gross Motor Activities For Preschoolers
  • Let your toddler develop balance by practicing to walk across a balance beam. You can make a simple balance beam in your yard or house with two bricks and a wide plank. Help the toddler walk across it by holding his/her hand. Gradually as he/she develops balance, you can increase the bricks and narrow the plank.
  • Make your toddler throw and catch soft balls. These are better than regular balls, as they donít tend to run away. Make the toddler throw the ball either to his/her playmate or into a basket or box from a distance.
  • The toddler should also be made to kick balls. In this way, he/she would learn to shift the weight from one foot to the other and support the body.
  • You can also roll a hula hoop down the lawn and make your toddler chase and catch it. Afterwards, you can also make him/her run through the hoop while in motion.
  • Hopping is also a very good gross motor activity. You can make the toddlers hop up and down the stairs or even hop on paving stones. Hopping effectively builds the balance.
  • Teach your toddler to jump. Initially, he/she would jump with one foot on the ground. Then, you should teach him/her to jump with both feet off the ground.
  • This activity can also be a favorite game for toddlers. Let your toddler imitate how different animals walk. For example you can tell him/her to walk like a dog, or spring like a kangaroo or waddle like a penguin and the like.
  • You can also buy ride-on-toys for toddlers. Let the toddlers ride such toys if he/she is too young for tricycles.
  • Make the toddlers walk a lot and in a variety of surfaces like gravel, sand and grass. Uneven surfaces are very good as it can hone their balance.
  • Place a large piece of paper on the floor and let the toddler color it. Position the toddlers in such a way that they are on their hands and knees. You can also paste the paper on the wall, so that the toddler can color it, while standing. Another effective way is to place the paper on a stool so that the toddler colors it, while he/she is on knees.
  • You can also blow bubbles and let your toddler pop them before they reach the ground.

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