Gross Motor Activities at the Playground
A trip to the playground includes many great opportunities to work on coordination, balance, strength, and vestibular input!
Have your child practice climbing up all different types of ladders and the rock climbing wall if they have one. Encourage your child to focus on reciprocal movements of one leg with the opposite arm, then the other leg and other arm (the right arm and the left leg should advance together while the left arm and the right leg advance together). This activity is great for whole body strengthening, coordination, and motor planning.
The monkey bars are great for arm strengthening, vestibular input, and kinesthesia (knowing where your body is moving in space). Start with a “swing-to” pattern where your child places both hands on each rung. When your child masters this skill, challenge them to only place one hand on each rung by using a “swing-through” pattern. You can even challenge your child to work their core muscles by hanging on one bar and lifting their legs up toward their chest.
Slides and swings are great for getting vestibular input and helping develop the vestibular system. You can also encourage whole body strengthening by having your child climb up a slide. Teaching your child to pump their legs while swinging works on leg strengthening, coordination, and motor planning.
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