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Gross Motor Activities for Toddlers

Kulbhushaan Raghuvanshi
Gross motor activities for toddlers are movements that help children develop large muscle control in arms, legs and the entire body. These simple activities are considered of great importance and parents should never ignore their benefits.
Gross motor activities or skills are tasks that involve the larger muscles of the hands legs and core. Activities like crawling, walking, waving and taking support of things to stand are extremely popular among toddlers are some examples.
As toddlers age, they perform a number of gross motor skills such as kicking, playing with toys, running and throwing. These activities are important as they contribute towards good health, increased self-esteem and confidence levels which comes from doing them regularly.

Different Gross Motor Activities

To ensure that toddlers spend more time outside, parents are often on a lookout for fun games which can be played with two or more people. Most toddler games are designed to be played with groups and parents can enroll themselves in these fun activities and ensure that their child gets loads of exercise while having fun.
Here are a few motor activity examples

>>Make your young one dance either freestyle or through nursery rhymes with movements such as "The Wheels on a Bus" or "Popcorn". The child will move, shake, run and jump as high as he/she can.
>>On a wind free day, take your toddler in a park or in your own lawn and blow bubbles for him/her.He/she will definitely run after them, this activity is a fun motor gross activity for increasing endurance level of a young child.
>>Take your baby for a walk around the house, neighborhood or park; and with the walk add in marching, jogging or hopping. Even parents can join in to make this activity more fun and interesting.
>>Set up a simple balance beam in the lawn with two bricks and a plank of wood. Encourage the child to walk across it. As the child begins to get comfortable, start using a narrower wooden plank.
>>If you have a large lawn, roll down a hula hoop and get your toddler to chase it. When they get used to it, they will try to pick it up while it is still in motion.
>>Try to teach your kid to get used to water games such as swimming in a small bathtub. After he/she gets comfortable with water, take him/her to small kiddie pools and enjoy the fun.
>>Play throw and catch with lightweight soft balls. This exercise is ideal to improve leg strength.
>>Encourage your toddler to ride his/her own tricycle rather than you pushing it for them, and encourage them to pull his/her own toy cart filled with toys in the whole house.
>>Putting the habit of gardening in your kids from a young age is a wonderful move from the parents side. This encourages the child to do creative work in a fun way and at the same time builds his/her upper body strength.
>>Set up an obstacle road; keep big pillows on the way, a crawl through a cardboard box, a circle around a foot stool and finally the exit point through a doorway. Make this fun by keeping his/her favorite toys at the exit point. This activity is a great flexible sport and would be very beneficial for the kid.
>>If you follow some exercise routine at home your toddler can join you in that. Warm up may seem boring to you, but it is a new discovery for your child to use his/her hands and legs in different ways.
>>Play cricket or baseball with your toddler. Just drag a small soft ball to him and your child will try to hit it with his/her plastic bat. This can be a great exercise for increasing observation skills.
>>Pick several soft toys and other objects and hide them around your house. Be careful not to hide any toys in difficult places, otherwise they would just get bored of the whole idea.
>>Play hide and seek, take caution that some toddlers might be frightened by your sudden disappearance and they might not be able to find you. Hence, while hiding keep your leg or arm visible, so that the game is fun for them and not a scary experience.
>>Dancing is an excellent way to bust some sweats. Parents don't have to do much in this activity. Since toddlers are attracted towards music and dance, just play some goofy dance numbers and see your child creating some new dance moves.
Regular practice of these activities improves balance, stamina and even promotes a positive attitude. Children learn best when the activity is fun, so be sure to encourage the kid at all times. These simple tasks help to cement a better future for the young ones.