Fun Games, Essential Outdoor Activities for Child's Gross Motor Skill
Created by Swapna Nair Updated on Nov 25, 2019
Dear parents, congratulations! You have survived the ‘terrific twos’! Now you have entered a phase of fewer tantrums. While that’s great news, there is another challenge coming your way! How to keep your little one busy and active after school?
Fun-Filled Games for Your Preschooler
Here are some means of keeping your child engaged and active after school, during weekends or holidays:-
- Art and Craft - Aside from the regular coloring and drawing, involve your child in the newspaper/leftover material craft. Create little bags or shapes and ask them to draw or paint (can work with hands instead of a brush). Take out old bags, shoes, plates. Offer a bowl of stickers, beads, and buttons. Give free rein to your child and ask them to make creative designs on the given materials. This strengthens fine motor skills, creativity and innovation, recycle and reuse.
- Puzzles - Excellent for cognitive development, hand-eye coordination, and building concentration
- Creating Tags - Guide your child in creating personalized tags for one’s bag/ clothes, shoes, etc. This would enhance their vocabulary and self-care
- Create a Letter Corner, Number Corner - Guide them to cut out letters, words, numbers from waste materials and assemble in a basket or on aboard. They can hang the cutouts on a string or create a Xmas tree out of them. This would strengthen their visual skills, fine motor skills, and letter/number recognition skill.
- Storytelling – You can use this method in various ways. You can weave their learning into this fun-filled activity. Examples of storytelling methods: a) they describe an event/ animal/ day. b) They tell an imaginative story c) They read and narrate d) they tell a story- you make picture cards of the same and shuffle randomly. The sequence it in the right order e) They create a story out of picture cards f) They interpret the ending of a story g) They give a title to the story h)They give the moral of the story i) Have group sessions on weekends and holidays. Turn the storytelling into a fun-filled game interspersed with song and dance.
- Kitchen Lab - Use materials from the kitchen to enhance learning and fun. Use the roti dough or dosa batter to create letters, numbers, and shapes. This would encourage eating home food too. Kids enjoy pottering in the kitchen. Allow this strictly under your guidance and take care of the safety measures.
- Adopt a Pet - if possible adopt a pet. Having a dog may be cumbersome in an apartment. You can have a goldfish or a hamster. A cat is easier to manage too. I have a four-year-old neighbor who enjoys feeding birds in the evenings after he returns from school. His mother accompanies him to the terrace. They have made a bird feeder and a water trough. It is fascinating for children to observe bird behavior.
- Dance and Music - You could either enroll them in classes or have informal sessions at home. Invite their friends over on weekends or during holidays to make it memorable.
- Board Games, Building Blocks like Lego are excellent for developing problem-solving, building memory/ concentration and creativity.
- Public Speaking – Build their public speaking through oral storytelling or through acting. Invite their friends and create a tiny script. Allow them to enact out. The script can imitate a TV reality show too
Essential Outdoor Activities for Gross Motor Skill Development
- Ball games- catch ball, tap ball, throw a ball
- I spy
- Running, jumping, hopping, climbing stairs are important for releasing and channelizing energy too.
- Nature walks - In most cities, such walks are offered by the local zoo. You can create a nature walk even if you have a park near your house. Take your children and their friends and walk around the park. Invite their moms too. Make it a picnic. Help them identify the local trees, plants, flowers, birds and insects. They could even sit and draw or color if you plan and take some worksheets. Those living near the sea can take them to the beach and build sandcastles.
- The museum, zoo outings
- Martial art for discipline and concentration
- Tri cycle and bicycle ride
Children outgrow toys fast. Hence it is wiser to create fun from what is around. Most importantly give them space. Do not crowd their schedule with activities. They need time to dream and imagine too.
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