Now that it’s starting to warm up outside, what better time than to get the whole family outdoors!
Here at Building Blocks Therapy, we are big believers in putting down the iPad, putting on some runners and getting moving! There are so many things that you can do outside – the options are endless! Here are our top 10 fun family activities that can be done outside to encourage gross motor skills development
- Water bombs
Best on the hot days! Set up a target or just have a good old-fashioned water bomb fight! Either way you are working on hand eye coordination, strength and throwing.
- Paint a wall with water
This can provide hours of entertainment for a child! Grab a bucket of water and a paintbrush, or a water spray bottle and paint the side of a garage with water!
- Ball games
Increase balance, crossing the midline, coordination and hand-eye coordination! Throw the ball around to each other, pass the ball above the head, below the knees, to the right of the body or to the left. Throw a ball into a ring or try to knock down bottles
- Obstacle course
Great opportunities for children to develop a wide range of skills including strength, balance, coordination, planning and sequencing. You can use anything in the backyard – hop between 2 trees then throw a ball to a target to move on to the next section. Include a balance beam! Include social skill development by making it a relay so the kids have to work together to complete the course.
- Go to the park
There are so many options at the local park! Swings, monkey bars, slides, tunnels, balance beams and climbing. The park requires so many gross motor skills and are fantastic opportunities for kids to take risks and push their limits through play
Grab a few different colours and create masterpieces in the driveway or on some concrete. The whole family can get involved with this one! Draw on a hopscotch and practice jumping and hopping, or try drawing squiggly lines to balance along like a tightrope!
Bounce! Bounce! Bounce! Strength, balance and coordination are required to jump on the trampoline. Endless of hours of entertainment working on such important gross motor skills
- Runway Game
Do you think you have what it takes to land your plane on the runway to score points? Encourage some playful competition between children to fly their plane the furthest along the runway. They will need a certain amount of control and coordination to land on the 100 points!
Find this game online here: http://www.buildingblockstherapy.com.au/shop/runway-game/
- Animal walk races
Pick your favourite animal and have a race to see who can get across the backyard faster! You could be a bear, a frog, a crab, a bunny hopping or even an elephant stomping! Animal walks are a fantastic way to develop strength, endurance, core strength, balance and coordination.
- Joey Jump Launching Board
The Joey Jump Launch Board can be played by yourself or in pairs! Put one foot on the end of the board to propel a bean bag into the air to catch! This is a fun way to practice balancing and catching. Find this board online at BBT here: http://www.buildingblockstherapy.com.au/shop/joey-jump-launching-board/
Should you have any concerns or would like an assessment regarding your child’s gross motor skill development, please consult an Occupational Therapist at Building Blocks Therapy