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How to help develop gross motor skills

Many children will develop the gross motor skills they need with regular play, but some need a little more encouragement to move.

When children run, jump, play ball, climb or ride a bike, they also strengthen their muscles. Spring is a great time to get kids out and do fun activities that benefit their physical development.

Here are 10 activities to get kids moving while strengthening their gross motor skills.

1. Get into skateboarding

Credit: Keen Ramps

Skating will help develop balance, coordination and strength.

Skateboarding is a fun way to develop gross motor skills as it builds strength, balance, and coordination. It’s a great way to get around and many kids really enjoy the feeling of being soaring in the air.

To take this skill even further, try a Keen Ramps halfpipe. Getting off a halfpipe requires coordination and strength while providing an adrenalin rush, making it a great choice for daredevils and anyone who enjoys the social aspects of skating, even with limited space.

Get a Half-Pipe Ramp at Keen Ramps for $ 369

2. Try a motion board

A child balances on a Fluidstance toy.

Credit: Fluidstance

Motion boards require core strength.

Animated boards are a great way to work gross motor skills while doing homework, reading, playing, or watching TV, as they require basic strength and balance to keep the board moving. Since motion boards swing back and forth, they are ideal for developing gross motor skills in small spaces or when it is necessary to stay indoors.

Fluidstance Grade is a good sturdy choice with a rubber base so it can be used on any type of floor. It’s also a great option for kids who are reluctant to train gross motor skills, as it can be used while doing other favorite activities. As an added bonus, The Grade is made mostly from recycled materials and can itself be recycled.

Get the note on Amazon for $ 99

3. Play water games

A child sprays water with a water gun.

Credit: Team Magnus

Start a team battle with water guns.

Anything that gets kids moving is great for developing gross motor skills, and activity that involves water is hard to resist. A waterslide in a garden forces kids to run to get the most out of their waterslide. Even though kids only run a short distance before hitting the slide, they are motivated to do so over and over again, which builds their strength and stamina.

Quick Fill Bunch O Balloons Water Balloons are another great water game that keeps kids active and developing gross motor skills. These water balloons are so easy to fill because a dozen can be filled at a time and they are self-sealing. This means kids can keep playing for longer and really work on arm strength and coordination.

Another classic water game that gets kids moving is water gun fighting. We are fans of the Team Magnus water guns because they are much bigger than most regular water guns and their heavier weight requires children to work their arm muscles.

4. Balance on a ball

A child bounces off multicolored Lakeshore balls.

Credit: Lakeshore

Hippity-hop along.

Hop-Along Balls are a fun way to develop gross motor skills by building core strength. Children sit on a ball and use their legs to jump around. Staying on the ball takes a lot of coordination and balance to avoid falling.

These balls are made of thick material and can be used indoors or outdoors. Hop-Along balls come in three sizes and are very easy to deflate for storage. Or leave one bloated in the playroom for an easy-to-use activity that’s available anytime.

Get a Whirlwind at Lakeshore from $ 19.99

5. Create an obstacle course

Eight multicolored Lakeshore cones.

Credit: Lakeshore

Trace a difficult obstacle course with these cones.

Creating an obstacle course can be as easy as installing colorful cones. These Best Buy color cones come in a pack of 10 and can be installed indoors or outdoors. Indoors, use them to create a path for the kids to follow as you instruct them to run, jump, or crawl. Outdoors, they are a great way for children to learn to maneuver using a bicycle or scooter.

Zigzag the cones and challenge your kids to walk through them; have the children try to jump over all the yellow cones; or have your kids squeeze through the cones while riding a bike or scooter to work on their balance and coordination.

Get a 10-pack of Best Buy Colored Cones at Lakeshore for $ 16.99

6. Take the bike path

A silver Schwinn bicycle.

Credit: Schwinn

Choosing the right bike is essential.

Cycling can be one of the best ways for kids to develop gross motor skills because it involves building strength, coordination, balance, and endurance. Choosing the right bike is essential, as a bike that is too large can make it difficult for children to control.

The Schwinn Sierra is a hybrid bike that makes it a great choice for riding all types of terrain, from pavement to dirt roads. Designed with a shock absorbing suspension fork and a seat with additional padding, it is also very comfortable. These characteristics can make all the difference for a reluctant cyclist.

For the younger ones, the Strider Sport Balance Bike 14x is a great choice. We love that this bike helps kids develop balance from an early age and that it’s designed to grow with kids. It can easily be adjusted for height and has an optional pedal kit that can be used to convert the balance bike to a pedal bike for years of use.

7. Make it bounce

Three children bounce on a Little Tikes inflatable house.

Credit: Little Tikes

Get moving all afternoon.

Jumping builds muscle strength, but it’s also a lot of fun. Motivate your child to start jumping by providing them with their own bouncy house. What kid wouldn’t love this?

Inflatable houses come in all sizes, but to get the most out of your purchase, we like ones that can be used indoors or outdoors. Look for a smaller size and be sure to measure your ceilings to make sure it will fit your space. We love the Little Tikes Jump n ‘Slide Bounce House because it is large enough to accommodate two or three kids and has a small slide for even more fun.

Get the Little Tikes Jump n ‘Slide Bounce House at Target for $ 279.99

8. Do interactive yoga

Two children practice yoga on Phresh yoga mats.

Credit: Phresh LLC

Each yoga mat comes with pointers to achieve the perfect pose.

Yoga, if done correctly, can help develop important gross motor skills like balance, coordination, strength, and motor planning. A Chi Yoga mat has strategically placed symbols to help ensure proper positioning. Each mat comes with access to both instructional videos and a poster showing the poses, so there’s little room for error. We love that the rugs are available in both kid and parent sizes to develop these skills together.

Get a Chi Yoga Mat on Amazon starting at $ 37.97

9. Crush it

Two children play with a Stomp Rocket outdoors.

Credit: Stomp Rocket

Stom Rocket can be used indoors or outdoors.

Blowing the kids up is as easy as giving them a small foam rocket and a base. Stomp Rockets are thrown by running and jumping, both of which builds strength and endurance. For additional training, launch the rockets up a staircase. We love that the Stomp Rockets can be used indoors or outdoors.

Get the original Stomp Rocket on Amazon for $ 17.99

10. Start climbing

A child climbs outside a gym in the Plum Play jungle.

Credit: Plum Play

This climbing dome offers a challenge.

Rock climbing is one of the best ways to get kids to develop gross motor skills because they have to use their arm and leg muscles to reach the top of the dome and back down. The Plumb Phobos Climbing Dome gives children the opportunity to develop strength, motor planning and coordination right in their own backyard.

Like most domes this one takes some effort to assemble, but when finished it is sturdy and can support the weight of more than one climbing child at a time. We love that there is also plenty of space inside the dome to create a fort or hang upside down – great basic reinforcement!

Get the Plumb Phobos Climbing Dome at Walmart for $ 198.98

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Prices were correct at the time of this article’s publication, but may change over time.

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