Physical development can be broken down even further into Gross Motor Skills (those big movements we do every day, usually without even thinking about it!) and Fine Motor skills (those fiddly little movements that can be tricky to master - sometimes even for grown-ups!)
Gross Motor Ideas
Balancing, hopping, skipping and jumping!
Not only are these really fun to do, but they also help you to develop your gross motor skills!
There are lots of ways you can practice balancing.
Standing on one leg is the most obvious one – but can you do it as well on both legs?
Get a grown up to time you (or you can count while you do it!) while you stand on one leg, and then see if it’s the same amount of time (or number of counts) for the other leg!
I bet you have one that’s better than the other – I know I do!
What about making your own ‘walk the plank’ kind of game?
You could pretend to be a pirate (or have been captured by one – oh no!) and you have to walk the plank! Careful you don’t fall into the deep sea underneath you!
We love making our own balance boards in Nursery too!
We use the construction blocks and planks, but you can make a similar thing with things you might already have at home.
Pool noodles and a piece of wood can make a good balance board.
A broom handle with a hard, flat ‘plank’ can be just as effective (a tea tray or large hard-back book – such as an annual – should be strong enough to support the weight of a small child).
If you don’t have things like this around your house – don’t worry! Simply putting a cushion or pillow on the floor and trying to find your balance can work just as well too! Make the ‘pile of pillows’ trickier to balance on by adding more and more pillows or cushions.
Please remember to supervise this activity! Balancing can be tricky!
As for hopping, skipping and jumping.
Set out a ‘course’ in your house or garden. See how long it takes to walk it, then run it, then hop, then skip, then jump it!
Make use of a ball or balloon!
You could make a target area for you to throw a ball in to.
If you have chalks, you could draw your target onto a wall or floor outside.
If you a playing inside, you could make an area with material as a target. (You could even use a ball of socks or a sponge instead of a ball – just in case!)
You could have a go at keeping a ball (or similar object) in the air with a tennis racket. If you haven’t got one of those, a frying pan would work too!
Or, you could blow up a balloon and keep it from hitting the floor.
This was one of Miss Bailey’s favourite games to play with her brother when she was little (and we made it even harder by pretending the floor was lava too!)
Fine Motor Ideas
-Playdough – manipulating the dough in different ways will help to strengthen those finger and wrist muscles. Dough disco can help with this!
Here is a link to Dough Disco!
- Fine motor painting - You could use your fingers or cotton buds.
- Pegging out the washing - Gripping and squeezing the pegs and then using hand eye coordination to put it onto the line.
- Threading - Using pasta onto string to make jewellery. You could also use cheerios onto spaghetti strands or anything else in your house that can thread through a hole!
- Using cutlery independently at meal times (or even while playing - playdough is a great way to introduce this!)
- Building, balancing and joining construction
- Using different media to make marks – paints, chalks, water and paintbrushes outdoors, mud and water, making marks in sprinkled flour or shaving foam – your choice!
- Making marks to represent meaning – this could be your name, words around the house, drawing pictures and giving different parts a meaning – anything!
Just remember: it doesn't have to look like the thing your child said it is, the important thing is they know what they have drawn!