Fun and Active Toddler Games to Build Gross Motor Skills
Active games for energetic toddlers
Looking for fun and easy activities to keep your energetic toddler moving and burning off some of that excess energy? Look no further than these simple and engaging games and activities that not only entertain but also help to develop those all-important gross motor skills. These activities can be done indoors or outdoors, rain or shine, and will provide your child with hours of entertainment.
Walking on pillows – An Indoor Adventure
Get creative with your household items and transform your cushions and pillows into a set of stepping stones for your child to navigate. This fun and challenging game helps your toddler develop their gross motor skills and offers a softer landing if they happen to stumble.
Helping to wash the car – A Practical Exercise
Water play is always a big hit with toddlers, so why not combine it with some practical activity and help them wash the car?
This fun game encourages your child to stretch and bend, squeeze and scrub, while also strengthening their muscles.
Walking the plank – a game of balance
Make a balance beam using masking tape, string, or a skipping rope and encourage your child to walk, run, jump, or crawl from one end to the other.
You can also turn it into a fun role-play game, perhaps pretending to be pirates or circus performers. This activity challenges your child’s coordination and balance, while exploring new ways of moving.
An obstacle course – an adventure around the house
Create an obstacle course using everyday household items like chairs, cushions, play tunnels, sheets, or even toilet rolls. This fun and engaging game challenges your child to use a range of muscles and coordination as they balance, climb, and crawl their way through the course.
Beanbag Toss – a fun game of aim and recognition
Start by setting up targets for your toddler to aim at – you can use paper plates or draw onto the pavement with chalk. Use familiar colours, shapes or numbers to get your toddler to practise their recognition of these at the same time; either have them throw something soft (such as a beanbag or soft toy) onto a specific target or let them choose and ask what they have landed on afterwards. You can encourage further learning by introducing one new colour/shape/number at a time. This activity is also good for hand-eye coordination.
Jumping beans – a game of memory and movement
Jumping beans is a simple game where the adult calls out a type of bean and the child carries out an associated movement.
- Jumping beans = jump
- Runner beans = run
- Broad bean = stretch arms and legs out wide
Teach your child some of the names and the associated move – start with just a few and build it up over time. This activity is not only good for gross motor development, it also promotes memory and attention skills.
Toddler yoga – a calming and mindful exercise
Yoga can be a good way to calm down a fidgety toddler and is good for mindfulness and focus. Try and do some simple moves together – it’s a good way to bond and has some giggles along the way when one of you falls over! Yoga can also develop coordination and balance, and strengthen muscles.
Balloon badminton – an indoor game for all
Keep the balloon from touching the ground! Use homemade bats (made from paper plates) to hit the balloon around the room.
Balloon Badminton is a great game to get everyone – toddlers, older siblings and parents alike – moving around the room. It’s also a little less dangerous for indoor play, as there are not hard balls to throw/catch/kick.
Whilst having lots of fun, toddlers will be strengthening their arms and leg muscles and developing their hand-eye coordination.