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Encouraging Gross Motor Skills in Children

When children are growing, their gross motor skills are ever evolving. Encouraging these skills can help children with basic day to day tasks, sports activities, and general coordination. It is easy and inexpensive to encourage the development of gross motor skills. Just take a look below at 10 frugal ways to encourage gross motor skills in children to get started right in your own home!

Sing While you Play

When you sing while playing, you help strengthen the core muscles. This also helps with coordination. Encourage children to sing a tune while they build and play and it is sure to make a difference.

Try a Balancing Act 

Place a box or cushion on the floor and let children practice balancing. Even better, have them sing while balancing. This is a great way to involve multiple senses and help build balancing skills.

Visit a Playground

A playground is a gross motor experience waiting to be found. Playgrounds involve climbing, hanging, jumping and more. Spend a half hour at the playground a few days a week and see how the child’s skills are strengthened.

Create Sensory Bins 

Create a bin of water or sand that you then fill with shovels, cups, measuring tools, etc. Let children play and experiment with the various tools. Most will help strengthen fine motor skills, but pouring and even stacking can encourage gross motor.

Go on a Nature Walk

Explore the woods with your child and practice walking at an incline, climbing, and running. This is a great way for them to see the outdoors while strengthening their bodies.

Play Some Bean Bag Games

Take the time to pass bean bags back and forth or even into a bucket. This helps develop hand/eye coordination and the weight of the bags can strengthen muscle tone.

Try a Hula Hoop

You can try using a hula hoop as intended, or even lay a few on the ground and practice jumping in and out of them. This will also strengthen coordination as well as muscle tone.

Try Yoga for Kids

Look online for free instructional videos. Youtube has many examples of yoga for kids, perfect for strengthening their core and helping develop muscle tone.

Use a Mini Trampoline

Find a one person/mini trampoline at your local retail or second hand sporting goods store. Put on some music so the child can jump and sing at the same time. This is perfect for core building and relieving stress.

Have Shoulder to Shoulder Matches 

Place your hands up in front of you and have your child do the same. Place your hands together and press. Don’t battle each other, but just press your weight into each other to activate and strengthen shoulder muscles.

Strengthening gross motor skills can be easy and inexpensive when you give these 10 tricks a try. Try them out in your home and see what a difference they make.

Annmarie John
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  1. I can't wait until my LO is big enough to start doing some of these fun activities! Right now I'm trying to convince her that tummy time is fun haha

  2. I never thought to use a hula hoop. It makes perfect sense, though.

  3. Great ideas! Sometimes we overlook things as simple as the playground and the woods for working on skills and abilities, but they're free and open 24/7!

  4. Great information for moms and teachers! Thank you for sharing.

  5. These are great tools to get the motor skills going.. A hula hoop i can see it.

  6. A hula hoop is an awesome idea. Not only does it promote motor skills, it's super adorable to watch, I'm sure.

  7. I love the hula hoop and mini-trampoline ideas! Setting up a mini-playground area in our basement sounds like a great way to get my daughter practicing some motor skills!

  8. We love sensory bins - sometimes I even just put some flour or rice in a little bowl for them to squish! I have never tried a hula hoop with my youngest though - thats a great idea!

  9. I had no clue that a mini trampoline could serve as a lil' stress reducer for kids. That's definitely something to think about in the future.

  10. Playground's a perfect place to promote motor skills.

  11. great tips! My son gained a lot from our daily nature walk. he learned to balance and climb on those trees!

  12. These are some great tips and great activities for kids to do and help them develop. :) Thank you for sharing.

  13. Playground's are a great place to get moving. I love playing on them with my kids.

  14. Playgrounds and nature walks were a big thing for us when kiddo was younger. Now we do a lot of geocaching. It has really helped her with sensing directions and searching skills along with thought processes.

  15. great tips! i love blocks. my girls can do so much with them.

  16. These are all great ideas and very easy to implement! Somehow singing while doing some of these activities --well lets just say I know I could not!

  17. My son's mother-in-law taught Yoga for kids for years and she swears by it. Her two (now grown) daughters do too!

  18. I love the mini trampoline idea. I would love to get one for me.

  19. These are all wonderful ideas. Thanks for sharing these ideas!

  20. These are all great ideas. I never even knew about sensory bins until Pinterest came around. I bet my girls would have loved them had I known about them when they were smaller!

  21. Gross motor skills definitely are important. Sometimes people are worried about "Academic" ability and not about the other areas of development.

  22. So many of these are things I did with my kids naturally. I also took them to Gymboree where they did some as well.

  23. Great list. My 20 month old loves to do all of these ativities.

  24. Fabulous list... and all thinks any child would love to do! Yoga is fabulous for gross motor skills. My daughters do it all the time.

    Thanks for sharing and linking up to the #SHINEbloghop.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.

  25. The playground is where we usually do our stuff. I like the sensory bins they have now as well. Great info here for parents wondering how they can do this.

  26. My daughter loves my trampoline so I guess she should be allowed to jump on it more often.

  27. Impressive article you shared here and I love it. all the best


[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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