10 Ways to Encourage Gross Motor Skills at the Playground | Grammar School

1. Play with your child, instead of being an on looker, be an example of what certain movements

look like.

2. Praise small accomplishments, they may not be doing the monkey bars by themselves just yet, but hanging from the bar for 5 seconds and then 10 seconds, is a place to start.kids on playground

3. Play catch, although it may seem like a simple activity, children benefit greatly from planning their movements, tracking the ball with their eyes, and the repetition the activity provides. Switch up the difficulty level if they are ready for the challenge by changing the size, weight or texture of the ball or distance between you and your child.

4. Challenge your child to an obstacle course race with the entire family.

5. Start with an activity your child is comfortable with, and encourage to expand from there. If your child enters the playground being asked to do something they are not comfortable with, they may shut down before getting anywhere.

6. Schedule play dates at the park with same age peers to encourage age appropriate skills in this setting.

7. Add “park time” into your families weekend routine. Frequent trips to a familiar park will help familiarize your child with the equipment and build endurance for gross motor activities.

8. Play “hot lava” encourage your child to navigate the park equipment without touching the ground.

9. Visit your child’s school playground on the weekend to help them practice what they are having difficulty with at recess.

10. Participate in animal walks (including bear walks, crab walks, frog jumps, etc.) to encourage strengthening, endurance and coordination.

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Meghan Orenchak

Meghan Orenchak received her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University. Her pediatric experience includes working as an OT at an outpatient clinic and working for North Shore Pediatric Therapy. Meghan has also gained OT experience with the pediatric population throughout her schooling, specifically, leading a social skills group for school age children and administering an applied behavior analysis (ABA) program while obtaining a minor in psychology.

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