It’s getting warmer outside, so now is a great time to get your preschool class out and moving for some more active learning. Gross motor skills, or the ability to perform movements using the body’s large muscle groups, are a key aspect of young children’s development. Playing games involving throwing and catching balls, running, jumping and other large, dynamic actions helps preschoolers develop these crucial skills.
Here are a few games that help build gross motor skills:
- The long jump. Place a few lines of tape on the ground at an even width apart, then have children take turns seeing how far they can jump. Have them try to beat their personal bests rather than making the game all about competing amongst themselves.
- The egg race. Give each child a spoon and an egg (or, if you don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning up later, a plastic Easter egg). Have them race from one point to another, but if they drop their egg, they have to go back to the beginning.
- Red light, green light. This classic childhood game teaches children to be able to stop moving on a dime and start again as quickly as possible. Have one child stand facing the rest and alternate calling out “Red light!” and “Green light!” The other children race to get to the finish line, where the caller is standing, during green lights but have to stop immediately on red lights or go all the way back to the starting line.