Top 5 Summer Activities for Kids to Promote Gross Motor Skills

From Pediatric Specialist Mandy Agbannawag, PT, DPT

The summer heat may be here, but there are still lots of ways to keep your kids busy and building their gross motor skills. Here are the top 5 activities from Pediatric Specialist Mandy Agbannawag, PT, DPT:

1. Indoor Obstacle Course

Create an indoor obstacle course to challenge your child’s balance.

Take couch cushions off the couch and line up to walk across a squishy surface, lay out other objects to step or jump over.

2. Water Play

On really hot summer days, water is the best relief!

If a pool is not an option, try something like a “Sponge War.” Split up to 2 sides of the yard, with buckets of water and sponges. Set a timer for 1 minute, and throw as many sponges at the opposing side until the timer is up. At the end, the team with the least number of sponges on their side wins the round!

3. Soccer Bowling

Work on kicking skills by finding a ball, and some objects to line up like “pins” (can be stacked up blocks, cones, empty paper towel rolls) and have your child kick the ball to knock them over. Change up the starting point to make it more challenging.

4. Play Catch 2.0

Play catch, but change how your child is standing.

Try having your child stand on a cushion for balance challenge, or try getting down into kneeling while tossing a ball back and forth. This works on throwing and catching, while also providing core stabilization and lower body strength.

5. Animal Walks

Try walking around the house like different animals!

Examples include penguin (walk on heels), giraffe (walk on toes), bear (walk on hands and feet). Get creative or let your child make some up!

Written By:

  • Amanda Agbannawag, PT, DPT
    Amanda Agbannawag, PT, DPT
    Physical Therapist