It’s that time of year again when we see the sun shining and there is a hint of warmness in the air and we think we are going to be able to get outdoors…. And then the chill comes back along with the snow and we remember its winter in Wisconsin so we still have another few weeks to go. Yes we all do our best to get children outdoors to get children those gross motors movements they so desperately need thorough out the day, but when we just can’t get outdoors. Here are some simple, fun and creative ways that help get gross motor movements indoors:
-Obstacles course: This is one of my all-time favorites! They can easily put together with just a few simple items. Include things like crawling under something, balancing along something, hoping, leaping over, etc. You can always include timing each other and seeing if you can beat your own time.
- Walk the line: tape down different lengths and type of lines on the ground and have children balance along them.
-Weave through the rainbow: Using different colored ribbon, tie to different areas of the room at different height children can climb over or under the ribbon weaving through it.
-Ball walk: Have children hold a ball in between their legs and try to walk from one edge of the room to the other.
-Simon says: Most of you should know this fun little game. Bring this oldie but goodie out and have Simon getting those large muscle movements going.
The benefits gross motor skills and promoting physical activities with young children include; long-lasting good health that comes from regular physical activities, increased self-confidence and self-esteem, this comes from being able to participate in activities with their peers. It also helps relieve stress and frustration, two emotions that can arise being coped up indoors. I hope the next time you find yourselves unable to get outside, you use the ideas above or your own creative ones to help pass away the day and prevent “cabin fever,” and keeping those large muscles moving!