When thinking about indoor activities for our kids, we often think of puzzles and board games. Sitting still for long periods of time for these games might be boring and difficult for kids. If your children are cooped up inside due to the weather or any other circumstances, then try these gross motor activities to get out their energy! 


What Are Activities For Gross Motor Skills?

Gross motor skills lead kids to have better coordination and control of their body parts. When done in pairs or as a group, these activities can also help develop better social-emotional skills and better self-regulation.

Babies start out developing their gross motor skills during tummy time, learning to roll, and preparing their bodies to crawl. Toddlers can engage in big movements that engage all their body parts, such as walking, running, throwing, lifting and kicking to improve motor planning skills and balance. Preschool children can add to that repertoire with riding a bike and swimming, as well as other more complex movements.

Even if you don’t have access to the outdoors for whatever reason, there are plenty of activities you can do inside too!

Indoor Gross Motor Activities

1. Hopscotch


 Use Spot Markers or Gel Floor Tiles to create an easy indoor hopscotch board. 


2. Relay races


All you need is a clear stretch of floor to set up different races for kids to compete against each other. Starfish jump in Space Explorers, scooter to the finish line or balance a pillow on your head.


3. Obstacle courses


Create a fun course for kids to slide along, crawl through and jump on. Add more challenging elements depending on your kids’ needs and abilities.


4. Animal Walks


Scuttle sideways like a crab, leap like a frog, gallop like a horse, waddle like a duck and crawl like a bear. Give points for the best imitation and don’t forget to make animal noises while you do it! (This is a great way to motivate kids to get into bed too!)


5. Catch and Throw


Although you might have a ‘no balls in the house rule,’ you can use safer items to throw instead. Scarves and bean bags can be great to play catch with a friend or throw into a basket.

Gross Motor Activities for Preschoolers

1. Simon Says


Give commands that are achievable to your preschooler such as jumping, spinning or touching their toes. This will promote listening and follow instructions combined with physical activity.


2. Indoor Bowling


Set up a makeshift bowling alley using empty plastic bottles and pool noodles to define the boundaries. A hallway can also provide natural boundaries. Use a soft ball for your toddler to roll and knock down the pins. Count how many you knocked down! You will also enhance hand-eye coordination, balance and gross motor skills.


3. Dance Party!


Turn up the music and bust some moves with your little one. Can they imitate you? Moving to the rhythm improves coordination is just plain fun! Use scarves to add some moves for crossing midline and bilateral coordination.


4. Balloon Volleyball


Divide the room into two sides or use a hallway and a long piece of string or tape to set up a low makeshift net. Practice using both hands to hit the balloon back and forth over the net for improved hand eye coordination and gross motor skills.


5. Balance Boss


Use a piece of tape to mark your line on the floor and see if you can use different moves to balance on the line. Can you walk putting your heel right in front of your opposite toe? Can you walk sideways? How big of a step can you take without losing your balance? This is a great motor planning activity!

Gross Motor Activities For Infants

1. Find the sound


Even before your child is old enough to roll or pick up their head, you can stimulate their neck muscles by shaking a rattle to one side out of their vision and watch them turn their head toward the sound.


2. Rattle tug


Babies have a strong grasp reflex. Let them grasp a rattle and then tug it gently, just hard enough to provide some input. Make it into a fun game with smiles and coos. Even before your child is old enough to roll or pick up their head, you can stimulate their neck muscles by shaking a rattle to one side out of their vision and watch them turn their head toward the sound.


3. Baby bicycle


While your baby is lying on their back, move their legs in an alternating pattern as if they are riding a bicycle. Exaggerating the movement to one side or the other will get them ready for rolling!

4. Tummy time


Place babies on a play mat or other soft surface and move toys in front of them to stimulate them to pick up their head and move it from side to side. When they start reaching for toys they may lose their balance and get startled, but just soothe them and start again!


5. Bolster baby


Use a small bolster or rolled up towel under the tummy to encourage your baby to get up on all fours as a pre-crawling exercise. Rocking back and forth in this position will give them confidence to try it on their own when they are ready.

No matter why you may need to be indoors, your kids won’t feel bored or dysregulated with this repertoire of fun activities. Which of these indoor sensory activities would be most popular in your house? Let us know what you love to do in the comments or tag us @funandfunction on social media!