Gross Motor Skills Activities for Preschoolers and Toddlers

Little kids can develop their gross motor skills through a variety of fun activities. We all want our children to grow to full independence; be able to cater for themselves and participate in essential life skills as soon as possible. Once this happens, there is a relief for the parent as well as a boost in self-esteem for the child.

Life skills such as using cutlery, tying shoelaces, drawing, writing and cutting with scissors are fine motor activities for preschoolers. Without the ability to complete these everyday tasks, a child’s self-esteem can suffer, their academic performance is compromised and their play options are very limited. It may also affect the development of appropriate independence in life skills (such as getting dressed and feeding themselves) which can affect their social well being within their family and peers.

Fine motor skills involve the use of the smaller muscle of the hands, commonly in activities like using pencils, scissors, construction with Lego or Duplo, doing up buttons and opening lunch boxes.

Gross Motor Activities for Children

So, what are some of the fun fine motor activities for preschoolers and toddlers? Let’s begin.

Weaving around the cardboard

You simply cut out a heart using cardboard or an unused carton of paper. Ensure the heart has a big heart hole in it. Then, give your child a long thread and let him or her weave the thread around the heart. This activity uses a simple sewing and weaving method that brings about a beautiful result after the job is completed. This fun fine motor activity for preschoolers is fantastic for hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and concentration.

Water painting on coloured chalk

This is beneficial if your child loves to paint. Water painting makes it easy to clean off the surfaces after your child is done. The process of painting helps your child’s imagination. This fun fine motor activity for preschoolers will also build creativity while developing his or her fine motor skill.

Beads on spaghetti

Simply prepare some long uncooked spaghetti and play dough. Also, prepare a box of colourful threading beads. Then, guide the child to insert a few of the spaghetti into the dough. You can then let the preschooler determine the number of beads to be inserted into one strand of spaghetti. This fun fine motor activity for preschoolers is fantastic for developing fine motor skills, practising counting, recognising numerals and making simple patterns in a hands-on, open-ended way.

Color Drop Game

You can actually make this game yourself. It helps kids learn their colours in addition to fine motor skills. Simply puncture holes around the lid of a jar and colour the entrances. Gather crayons of different colours and let your child drop crayons that match the colour of the hole.

Working with Legos

Working with Legos is another fun fine motor activity for preschoolers. Legos are small building blocks made of plastic that your children can use to build. Children simply put together small building blocks to bring to life their imagination. Using LEGO bricks is the perfect opportunity for building fine motor skills! Children love the thrill of building and they can do this for hours, building up strong little muscles in their hands that will help them do other skills, such as learn how to write.

Woven Paper Placemats

Children’s little hands get quite the workout as they weave paper under and over to create a pretty placemat. You can laminate these when they are done and use them for meals. This requires coordination as the child is not to make an under weaving twice.

Homemade edible finger painting

Simply prepare a set of non-toxic, edible painting brushes the children can draw with. Mix the cornflour with the cold water and stir together. Pour in the boiling water and stir between each cup. Keep stirring until it forms a wonderful, custard-like substance.

Stacking Cups

Gather lots of small cups in different colours and let your child arrange them to form a huge pyramid that will make only one cup to remain at the very top. The challenge is to arrange delicately without the cups falling apart.

Sorting natural pebbles

Simply purchase natural pebbles from a local store near you. Alternatively, you can use small stones of different colours, shapes and sizes, and then mix them in a basket. Next, prepare different bowls for sorting. Once this is done, guide your child into sorting them based on colour. Afterwards, guide the preschooler to sort based on texture then size. You have to be there when your child is sorting out the pebbles into different bowls because the pebbles are small and a child can easily swallow them. You may also guide the preschooler to arrange the pebbles in a straight line. The process of picking up the pebbles and feeling the texture helps in developing the fine motor skill of the preschooler.

Pushing Toothpicks

This particular fun fine motor activity for preschoolers is not only very simple and easy for any child but also helps with a child’s concentration while doing so. We just love easy fine motor activities! This one requires 2 supplies and is pretty easy to take anywhere. All you need is toothpicks and the toothpicks containers with holes. Simply let your child return the toothpicks into the container through the small holes.

These gross motor activities will strengthen your child’s fine motor skills which are needed to function optimally later in life. Your preschooler needs plenty of time to play and explore different activities that will help them develop their motor skills. Look for activities that will help them build strength in all their muscles, big and small.

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