Originally posted on January 2017.
Are you tired of being inside yet? Now that the holidays are over, and the weather is colder, many of us with young children are looking ahead on the cold winter months wondering how we’ll get our little ones to move and groove while stuck inside. As adults we might see a cold, dreary day as the perfect time to cuddle up inside with a book or netflix, but young children see it as another day to be active, move their bodies and explore, no matter the weather! We’ve gathered some gross motor activities that look like tons of fun, and can be done inside on those days that are less than ideal to stay outdoors for long.
Dreaming of snow? We love this idea from STA Classroom. Set up an area with packing peanuts and/or fiberfill , and let your kids go to town shoveling “snow”. Chances are, if they’ve seen a caregiver shoveling, they’ll love to have a chance to try it out themselves.
There’s something about a parachute that just appeals to children whether they’re a toddler or kindergartner. Parachutes are great because they don’t take up too much room to store, and come in multiple sizes. Parachute play is not only exciting, but playing stop and start games help children develop the essential life skill of self-control. Check out PreK + K Sharing for numerous ideas of how to get moving and incorporate learning with a parachute!
Balloons are another item that kids seem to universally love! This Balloon Tennis idea from Vanessa’s Values requires minimal materials, and is sure to keep children moving for a long time while practicing hand-eye coordination.
Whole Body Painting
One of our favorite indoor activities here at SEEC combines art and movement! We love to paint, and painting doesn’t have to use only your arm, but can use your whole body. On those days when you can’t get outside, try one of these painting activities.
Set out a large sheet of paper, add some paint, turn up the music, and let your children create a masterpiece by painting with their feet.
Our toddlers loved this basketball painting activity. Set out a large piece of paper against a wall, attach a basketball hoop (if you don’t own one you can make a simple hoop by cutting the middle out of a paper plate), get some bowls of paint with large pom poms and let your child dunk the paint balls to their heart’s content!
If you want something easier, simply tape a large piece of paper to the wall and encourage your child to paint all the parts of the paper. This will get their whole arm and body involved as they move up and down the paper.
Who doesn’t love an obstacle course? Beautiful Somehow has a ton of ideas to make a creative and fun indoor obstacle course out of items that are already in your home or classroom. The obstacle course featured not only engages children’s whole bodies, but also their imaginations!
Please comment and share some of your favorite indoor gross motor activities; we’d love to hear your ideas! And check out our Indoor Gross Motor Fun Pinterest board for more ideas!