7 Summer Activities to Improve Gross Motor Skills
Summer is officially here! For all the kids who are on break this is the best time of the year, however, for parents it can be a stressful time. Many parents can relate to a child’s signature phrase “I’m bored.” They also can relate to the irritation faced after the 100th activity suggestion they give does not interest their children. When the “I’m bored” phrase gets exhausted, which unfortunately comes sooner for some parents, it is hard to know where to turn.
Below is a list of fun activities throughout Northeast Ohio that not only provide entertainment but also allow the opportunity to work on gross motor skills.
1. Fred Greenwood Park
This Medina Park offers many gross motor activities creating a full day of fun for kids of all ages. There are soccer, softball and baseball fields that you utilize to work on your child’s ball skills. In addition, there is a walking trail that can be utilized for walking, running or biking and a playground for younger children. Lastly, this park has a splash pad that will help you beat the summer heat as kids can run and play all day long. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, this splash pad is open from 11am-8pm. For more information, check out their website here.
2. Xtreme Ninja Warrior
This Hinckley facility is filled with obstacle courses, mimicking the popular tv show, that work on your child’s strength, endurance, balance and coordination while providing hours of fun. It has open hours that you can take your child to or classes to help your child become an extreme ninja warrior. Great for kids ages 4 and up. For more information, check out their website here.
3. Cleveland Zoo
The zoo is a great place to work on gross motor strength and endurance for all ages. It offers various terrains, inclines and stars to negotiate as you check out all the beautiful animals. In addition, there are playgrounds to have your younger children climb on when they need a break from the animals. Check out the Asian Festival of Lights during select days in July or on a Monday for free admission for Cuyahoga County residents. For more information, check out their website here.
4. The Jump Yard
Located in North Royalton, The Jump Yard has multiple inflatables that challenge your child’s balance, strength and endurance and they jump around for hours. The inflatables vary in difficulty to accommodate toddlers to teens. There are open play hours offered daily for all ages as well as a weekly teen night for ages 10-15. For more information, check out their website here.
5. Play. Love. Learn
Located in Strongsville this facility offers several classes, including sports prep, music and art, geared toward preschool aged children. In the sports preparation class, parents have the opportunity to work with their child while teaching basic ball skills. In addition to structured classes, Play. Love. Learn offers open gym times daily that can be utilized to help increase your child’s strength, endurance, balance and motor planning. For more information, check out their website here.
6. Dominique Moceanu Gymnastic Center
Located in Medina, this gymnastic center offers different yoga classes for kids ages 3-15. Yoga is a great way to work on strength, balance and coordination while learning relaxation techniques for calming the body. For more information, check out their website here.
7. Get Air
This trampoline park located in Middleburg Heights is a great way to burn some energy while working on strength, balance and endurance. Get Air is great for all ages with different trampoline areas that also incorporate some ball skills. They have open jump times daily, summer camps and offer special times on Tuesdays and Thursdays for toddlers only. For more information, check out their website here.
–Jenna Dean, PT