GROSS MOTOR: SUGGESTED TOYS AND ACTIVITIES
Gross motor skills are crucial to a child’s development. These skills enable them to walk, run, skip, climb, and play sports (or simply catch or throw a ball.) Therapeutic intervention can benefit children in need of gross motor development assistance by increasing their confidence, advancing their strength and endurance, and supporting their use of arms and hands for fine motor skills. In order for an occupational therapist to successfully implement proper care for a gross motor need, she or he must be equipped with high-quality gross motor toys and activities.
Below are several PTS-approved gross motor ideas to help children achieve their functional goals. PTS knows firsthand that students benefit the most when therapists have an abundance of resources, as well as onsite and offsite clinical support from an experienced team.
Indoor Gross Motor Toys and Games
- Activity cards and games. Try games that specifically encourage student movement, such as Power Moves.
- Simon Says. Encourages bodyawareness and the ability to plan your movements.
- Unstable surfaces. Theseactivities may be executed either inside or outside. Students will walk or climb over an unstable surface (like a stack of pillows) created by you. This enables them to build strength.
- Catching and balancing. Have access to balance pods? Students can stand on one foot on one of these pods and attempt to catch a ball tossed to them. It’s a tricky game, but it increases their balancing ability.
- Large balls. Consider this a regular game of catch, without having to balance. Once students master large balls, they can move on to a smaller-sized ball.
- Dancing! This option is in the running of students’ favorite activities. Dancing helps kids develop their coordination and motor sequencing skills while introducing them to the concept of rhythm. The good news for you: all you need is music!
Outdoor Gross Motor Activities and Games
As an occupational therapist, you may not always have access to an outdoor environment for your therapy sessions. Nevertheless, the following activities are good to keep on hand and perhaps recommend to parents who want to engage their child at home.
- Playground play. This can include climbing and swinging on monkey bars.
- Hop scotch. Students can directly practice the skill of hopping and jumping.
- Swimming. Students should swim only if they have the endurance and have previously received lessons.
- Obstacle courses. Students will need to combine a series of gross motor skills to complete the course.
- Tricycles or scooters. Riding one of these youngster-powered vehicles serve as a stepping stone to riding a bicycle.
For more gross motor toys and activity ideas, or for more information about our services, please visit us here or contact us at 610-941-7020.