Gross Motor Toy Ideas
Exercise and movement play a crucial role in child development. However, kids are spending more time playing video games and less time outdoors. Though it's hard to replace unstructured playtime, some toys can encourage children to move. Gross Motor toys refer to toys that require children to use large muscle groups (running, jumping, and throwing). Take a look at some toy ideas that I've put together that require children to engage in gross motor play.
You can click on any of the pictures to learn more about each toy.
Bubble play is generally great for development as it requires children to run around, jump, and move their arms and legs to catch the bubbles .Also, in order to catch the bubbles, children have to follow them with their eyes which exercises the eye muscles. These Giant Bubble Wands have additional benefits as using them also helps build upper body strength.
This chalk set comes with a 24 inch paint brush which is beyond fun and engaging for kids to use. Painting with it also requires large arm movements, strength, and coordination.
We all know and love this super silly game called Twister. What we may not realize is that Twister has many physical benefits as well. Just think about how much balance, coordination, and strength is required to maintain in those twisted positions.
Instead of using a regular beach ball, why not use an inflatable globe?! Not only is it excellent for working on catching, throwing, and aiming, but it also allows children to learn some geography as they play.:)
Giant Blocks By Edushape are awesome for many reasons. To start, kids have an opportunity to be creative by turning these blocks into forts, castles, and bridges. Also, constructing unique designs and then crawling, jumping and climbing through them promotes motor planning and gross motor skills. Picking up these pieces and moving them around encourages bilateral coordination (use of both hands) and promotes upper body strength (needed for tasks like writing and cutting). If you have some extra space in your house, look into these. 18 months and up.
Edublocks are giant soft and sturdy foam blocks. Challenge your kids to create unique constructions while practicing squatting, reaching, grasping, balancing, and motor planning. Tip: to encourage walking or crawling, spread the blocks around the room so that your child has to maneuver around to pick up the pieces.
Crocodile Hop Floor Game is a cute movement game in which kids jump, hop and skip while learning colors, shapes, and numbers. It also encourages visual attention, socialization, and turn-taking. Crocodile Hop Floor makes for a great indoor or outdoor game. Ages 3 and up
Fitivities is an exercise board game that can be played with one or multiple players. Simply spin the arrow to determine your repetitions and exercise moves. Ages 6 and up
Teach numbers, counting, and turn taking with the Turtle Target Toss Game. Throwing at a target encourages eye-hand coordination and shoulder stability (needed for good fine motor skills). Ages 3-6.
Elite Ring Toss Game promotes the development of eye-hand coordination, motor planning, sustained attention, and problem-solving. It can be played in or outdoors. Ages 3 and up.
Gonge Riverstones are often used in physical therapy to promote balance and coordination, but they can be fun for any kid. Simply, place them around the room, and jump from stone to stone without touching the floor. Each stone varies in steepness and difficulty and makes a great addition to an obstacle course. Ages 3 and up.
Scoop ball is easy to throw and easy to catch, making it motivating and rewarding for all ages. Love playing this game with kids and watching their confidence grow as they succeed. Ages 3 and up.