Early childhood years are most important for a child’s growth and development (Source- UNESCO). Because these are the foundation years to teach the child the use of body movements to perform everyday functions. These gross motor activities for preschoolers are the focus of our early childhood education programs.
At this time, children mostly learn through fun activities and play. Hence, it is great to incorporate fun activities to work on these important developmental domains easily.
TODAY, LET’S EXPLORE 10 MOST BENEFICIAL AND FUN-FILLED GROSS MOTOR ACTIVITIES THAT HELP IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF GROSS MOTOR SKILLS AT THE PRESCHOOL STAGE:
Holistic development is one of the primary reasons why schooling is important? And physical development is an essential aspect of a well-rounded personality.
At the pre-school stage, children enjoy the element of music and love to dance along. Simple dancing is a great activity and helps immensely with the development of a child’s gross motor skills. Because freestyle dancing has several random body movements that help in strengthening the bones and muscles. This activity becomes even more enjoyable with mirroring techniques and happy tracks/jingles to engage young learners.
Gripping, placing and balancing blocks creatively while sitting and standing are also great for motor development at the preschool stage.
Frog jumping exercise –
The third in our line is the frog jumping activity. This one is both common and popular amongst the preschool age groups. Here, the child uses his/her hands to touch the ground and uses the feet to land on the floor. So, as a child jumps like a frog it helps in developing and strengthening the muscles.
Next on the list is the play with softballs. Preschoolers enjoy big movements like throwing and kicking balls. So these can be used effectively and interestingly by the adults.
Activities on uneven surfaces-
Another fun activity for this age group is running or walking over uneven surfaces. Here, adults can add their creative elements and make use of obstacles to add a level of difficulty. But remember, the object should always be delicate and safe for the little ones. So, objects like pillows, clothes and sacks can be good choices for this activity.
Climbing to the top-
In this one, a child climbs up with big movements over a safe surface such as a stack of cushions or beanbags. It can be made more interesting by adding a reward at the top surface.
Hopping and moving on the lines drawn by chalk/masking tape is another great way of helping with gross motor development. If the teacher/guardian draws these lines creatively, there is an added advantage because it helps the child to learn about geometrical shapes and zig-zag patterns during this fun activity.
At the preschool stage, once the child knows how to play hopscotch, he/she exhibits better body control. This activity includes gross motor skills like jumping, so it helps to learn the skill of body balancing. It is also a perfectly entertaining activity wherein a child hops different squares goes to a specific position and turns around to hop back to the original position. All in all, it is a great activity full of benefits for our young learners.
Crawling over the surface-
This creative activity can be planned with basic material like pillows, bed sheets, or rugs. Here, a child crawls through the given base and strengthens his large movement skills. Simple reinforcement techniques like appreciation, rewards, and treats can make this one super fun and rewarding for the child.
Lastly, we have the penguin activity for preschoolers. Here a child is made to swing happily from one side to the other with the feet turned out for a casual and funny walk. It adds to the child’s knowledge of body balancing as he/she does not place the feet straight on the floor. This activity also creates a conceptual understanding of the animals living in extremely cold conditions. So the waddle of a penguin on slippery ice is a fun yet beneficial activity for students.
The gross motor activities for preschoolers stage are all about exploring the surroundings and interacting with the environment. So, it is ideal to create ample opportunities for our young learners to move, use and exercise with all the parts of their bodies.
Now that we know so much about these activities, let us use these with our little stars and unlock new possibilities of movement, discovery, and play for them!