8 Gross Motor Activities For the Whole Family

Over the past months, families have been looking for ways to do things together as they have been forced to social distance from others.

Below are some fun activities that everyone can enjoy, no matter what age!

1. Go for a bike ride

Enjoy the fresh air and sunshine! Riding a bike is a great exercise to improve balance, coordination and endurance.

2. Play catch together

Focus on good throwing form by stepping forward with the opposite foot as you throw – and HAVE FUN!

3. Use GoNoodle to have a dance party!

If you have never used it, check out these free online videos that are interactive and get kids up and moving! They are fun and can entertain your child with videos that include: dancing, work-outs, brain teasers and sing alongs like the baby shark song.

4. Go for a walk at a local park

Most local parks are open for families so they can go on walks or hikes together. Remember to practice social distancing on the trails!

5. Sidewalk chalk

This is a great activity for gross and fine motor skills.  Create an obstacle course all over your driveway that incorporates different activities such as:

  • Hopscotch
  • Draw an “X” where you pause to do jumping jacks or another exercise
  • Draw a long line where you can do different animal walks -bear crawl, duck walk, crab walk or frog jumps
  • Draw a swiggly line to walk heel to toe on
  • Be creative and come up with your own stop on the obstacle course
6. Build a fort

This a fun and creative way for your child to build strength while carrying materials like cushions, pillows, blankets, or chairs for the fort.  Also, they can improve motor control and planning while setting up the fort.

7. Play hide-and-go-seek around the entire house

This is a game kids love! You can play with people or “surprises” that you can hide for your kids to find. Build strength and balance by hiding yourself or objects low so your child has to squat down or in a high place so that your child has to get on his/her tiptoes and reach. You can also hide yourself or objects in the basement or on the second floor so your child can practice stairs.  There are so many options and this game is sure to keep kids occupied for a long time!

8. Play any type of ball game

Any type of outdoor ball play is a great activity to improve gross motor skills.

  • Soccer – practice kicking and dribbling with feet
  • Basketball – practice dribbling, passing and shooting into the hoop
  • Kickball – practice kicking a rolling ball and running the bases
  • Baseball – practice swinging the bat, running the bases, throwing and catching
  • Bowling – practice rolling a ball on the ground toward any object that can be “pins”

Thirty or more minutes of active play inside or outside is recommended every day. While these activities can be done alone, why not do them with the whole family?  Have fun!

-Kelly Steiner, PT, DPT