Promoting Development of Gross Motor Skills at Home

Home Physical Development Promoting Development of Gross Motor Skills at Home
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Occupational Therapists (OTs) specialize in improving gross motor skills through personalized assessments and interventions. For children, this involves play-based activities like obstacle courses, while adults may benefit from targeted exercises and adaptive strategies. By addressing coordination, strength, and balance, OTs contribute to the development of essential gross motor skills, facilitating individuals’ ability to engage effectively in daily activities.

Father and sons playing with a ball outside

Promoting gross motor skills at home is essential for a child’s physical development. Gross motor skills involve the coordination and control of the large muscles of the body, contributing to activities such as crawling, walking, running, jumping, and more.

Here are 20 activities and ideas to support gross motor skill development at home:

Obstacle Course:

Set up a simple obstacle course using cushions, pillows, and household items. This encourages crawling under, climbing over, and jumping across obstacles, enhancing coordination and spatial awareness.

Dance Party:

Put on music and have a dance party. Dancing helps improve balance, coordination, and rhythm. Encourage your child to move different parts of their body to the beat.

Balloon Volleyball:

Blow up a balloon and have a balloon volleyball game. This activity promotes hand-eye coordination and gross motor movements as the child tries to hit the balloon back and forth.

Hopscotch:

Create a hopscotch grid using chalk on the driveway or with masking tape on the floor. This classic game helps with balance, jumping, and hopping skills.

Animal Walks:

Pretend to be different animals and move around the room. For example, walk like a bear, hop like a bunny, or crawl like a crab. This activity supports a variety of gross motor movements.

Indoor Bowling:

Set up a bowling alley using soft toys or plastic bottles as pins and a soft ball as the bowling ball. This activity improves hand-eye coordination and throwing skills.

Hopscotch Mat:

Use a hopscotch mat or create one with tape on the floor. This provides a designated space for hopping and jumping activities indoors.

Yoga for Kids:

Introduce simple yoga poses designed for children. Yoga enhances flexibility, balance, and body awareness. Many resources and videos are available online for kid-friendly yoga routines.

Scavenger Hunt:

Create a scavenger hunt where your child has to find and collect items around the house. This activity involves walking, running, and reaching, promoting overall mobility.

Bike Riding:

If you have outdoor space, encourage bike riding. Riding a tricycle or bike helps develop leg strength, coordination, and balance.

Bean Bag Toss:

Set up a target using a basket or marked area on the floor. Have your child toss bean bags or soft balls into the target, improving throwing and aiming skills.

Increased Health Issues:

Neglecting personal health often leads to increased health issues for caregivers. From chronic conditions to frequent illnesses, burnout takes a toll on the physical well-being of those providing care.

Simon Says:

Play a game of “Simon Says” with gross motor commands. For example, “Simon says jump three times” or “Simon says touch your toes.” This game enhances listening skills and coordination.

Difficulty Sleeping:

Play a game of “Simon Says” with gross motor commands. For example, “Simon says jump three times” or “Simon says touch your toes.” This game enhances listening skills and coordination.

Lack of Concentration:

Burnout can impair cognitive functions, making it difficult for caregivers to concentrate or make decisions. Forgetfulness and a sense of mental fog become prevalent.

Hula Hooping:

Use a hula hoop for spinning and twirling. Hula hooping is a fun way to improve balance and coordination.

Seek Professional Support:

Use a hula hoop for spinning and twirling. Hula hooping is a fun way to improve balance and coordination.

Stair Climbing:

If it’s safe, encourage your child to climb up and down stairs. This activity strengthens leg muscles and improves coordination.

Set Realistic Expectations:

Recognizing and accepting limitations is essential. Caregivers should set realistic expectations for themselves and their care recipients. Establishing achievable goals reduces stress and prevents feelings of failure.

Nature Walks:

Take walks in nature, exploring parks or trails. Walking on uneven surfaces and navigating outdoor terrain contributes to gross motor skill development.

Conclusion

Remember to tailor activities based on your child’s age and developmental stage, and always prioritize safety during these activities at home. Additionally, incorporating a variety of movements and activities helps ensure a well-rounded approach to gross motor skill development.

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Transform Life is an Australian owned provider specialising in evidence based therapeutic support including Positive Behaviour Support, Occupational Therapy, Psychology, Speech Therapy and Behavioural Interventions helping transform lives and families across Australia.

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