Toddlers are naturally inclined to run, jump, play and kick. These 7 Ways To Build Toddler Gross Motor Skills can easily work with the natural part of who they are (endless bundles of energy). But guiding their natural bend to achieve some desired skills is easy and still fun for them! Here are 7 basic motions toddlers should be doing and ideas on how to incorporate them into your day to get you started, keep them busy, and build those gross motor muscles!
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1. Throwing/Tossing– Be sure to have a variety of balls on hand to peak your child’s interest and keep them busy- a simple playground ball, foam football, etc.. Besides just tossing them back and forth give them some other games to play-toss a ball through a hula hoop hung from the tree, into a basket, encourage them to throw a certain distance and then practice until they beat that distance.
2. Kicking- Add soccer balls to the balls in their play yard, include cones and some sort of goal for them to aim for. Bring back kick the can!
3. Riding– Even while children are not yet walking riding toys can provide wonderful gross motor development, when the push/walk along while sitting on it. Later as their skills develop incorporate tricycles and other riding and pedaling toys.
4. Jumping-Have your child hop over small objects in the yard like sticks, lay a yardstick long ways in front of them and have them see how far they can jump, mark it and have them keep trying to jump further and further. Have them hop on one foot only, then switch to the other.
5.Pulling and Pushing– Pushing their baby doll (or mommy) on the swing, pulling a wagon, -all these activities build important arm muscles and upper body strength in your little ones that will help them grow and develop. Their are also many pushing and pulling toys you can purchase to att
6. Walking and Running– Have races with your child, take walks at the park, and walk instead of driving when you can and it is safe to do so, give them a balance beam to also build their coordination- you needn’t go buy one a 4×4 or landscape timber secured in the ground will suffice.
7. Climbing– Take every opportunity to use the stairs, assist your child in climbing ladders and little rock walls at the playground. Climbing on and off toys, chairs, etc. will also work for these exercises.
Incorporate all these activities into a simple obstacle course occasionally to mix it up and create a fun outdoor experience.
Check out our other great tips for teaching your toddler!