Late-autumn is upon us, however, the cooler weather doesn’t mean your children are out of fun things to do outdoors. Gross motor skills are important for kids to improve upon, no matter their age or activity level. These skills require engagement of the child’s big muscle groups to improve balance, coordination, and posture. In pre-school age kids, working on gross motor skills builds body awareness, helps them keep up with peers and perform better in school, and motivates them to engage more with others. Below are some simple activities you can do with your children this season that will give them the opportunity to build their muscles and confidence-minimal equipment needed.
By dance, I don’t mean reviving your ball-room dancing days or enrolling the kids in ballet (though both are great routes to take). What I mean is simple…be silly with your kids. Put on their favorite song and make up the moves as you go. There is a reason songs such as Hokey Pokey stayed so popular with toddlers and teachers for so long: they make it fun for kids to learn how their limbs work and how to engage their trunk. Tapping their feet to the beat works on coordination, shifting their weight works on their balance, and wiggling their hips works on their obliques and other parts of their core muscle groups. Teach your child to skip around the room and she will learn to synchronize her opposite sides and build on her total body coordination. Learning to dance with a partner and imitating big movements will help your child tune into working with others, following directions, and use your child’s large muscles in a not so tiring way. Read more