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.