When people hear the words “learning” and “education,” they usually think of schools, books, teachers, exams, scores, IQ, etc.—things that have to do with the academic definition of learning.
Because of this, people frequently overlook other aspects of development and place little to no value on learning to move and learn through physical means. Parents should give creative movement activities to their young children because they are still growing and trying to figure out how their bodies work. If they cannot grasp their full physical potential, it might also hinder their academic progress.
Movement or gross motor activities are fun action games that engage the body’s different parts and muscles. These activities help improve a child’s body coordination and, when done right, can help them discover different physical skills and talents that they can continue to develop throughout the years.
So, the next time you are thinking about doing something educational for your preschooler, give these creative movement activities for preschoolers a go and watch your child enjoy learning while building their physical and body strength.
Activities that help kids learn not only how to move but also how to talk and think are always a good idea. This activity is easy and can help your preschooler improve a lot of skills. By first showing your child how animals move, like jumping kangaroos, hopping rabbits, flying birds, swinging monkeys, and running tigers, they not only move their bodies and learn gross motor skills, coordination, and balance, but they also learn about different kinds of animals and improve their cognitive skills.
You can find out more about this activity at The Inspired Treehouse.
Get Up and Move Dice Game
By making this DIY dice game, you can add a little twist to your animal movement activities. On one side of the dice, write the typical moves that animals make, and on the other, write the names of different animals that your kids know or need to know. The rules of the game are easy: when the dice land on an action, they have to do it while pretending to be the animal that the dice showed.
The results of this little game are never the same. The little ones could be jumping around like monkeys one minute and hopping like frogs the next. They could also be put together in different ways, like having to act like a dog that slithers, which would also give your kids room to be creative.
For more ideas about this activity, check out the Growing A Jeweled Rose blog.
The Floor is Lava!
Everyone should know how to play this game. The rules are simple: don’t step on the lava!
Make it more creative and fun for your preschoolers by putting colorful papers all over the floor to make “safe areas.”
Your little ones will run, jump, hop, and laugh as they try to “survive” getting hit by the “lava” in this activity.
Check out more tips on this activity at Hands On As We Grow.
Treasure hunting is another common game that parents should play with their kids more often. It’s fun and hard, and at the same time, it encourages kids to be more physically and mentally active.
First, hide the items or treasures. Then, give your child hints about what to look for and where to look. Clues could be a picture of the place, a hint about the color of the item, or anything else that helps your preschooler think creatively and think through problems.
For more ideas about this creative movement activity, check out Raising Children.
Tape Shape Fun
For this activity, all you need is tape and some floor space. You can play with your kids by taping different shapes, letters, and symbols all over the floor and giving them random instructions that require them to move and comprehend.
Give out movement challenges like “dance your way to the letter X,” or “hop to square,” or “walk backward to A,” and so on. Be creative and make this activity hard, but make sure you do it in a safe place so your child can move around and play without worrying.
For more information about this movement activity idea, visit Toddler Approved.
Don’t Let the Balloon Touch the Ground
We often see this activity during children’s parties and special occasions like birthdays and school fair events. But they are easy enough and fun enough that your kids can also play them at home.
You just need a balloon, and you’re good to go. The goal is easy: don’t let the balloon touch the ground. You can do this with a countdown or by having the kids hold up the balloon for the length of a nursery rhyme. You can change the way the game is played in a number of ways, such as by using paper plates as paddles or by assigning “it” players who can’t touch the balloon.
For more ideas on how to do this movement activity with your kids, check out Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, oh my!
This activity looks easy, but it is one of the many challenging yet fun games you can play with your preschooler to enhance their gross motor skills, control of their breath, and even math skills.
Your child’s job is to blow the balloon across a certain area. They count how many blows they have to make to get to the goal. This helps them learn to count while also learning to control their breath.
It will also keep them in a crawling position and help them find ways to make their bodies more comfortable and better at moving in limited ways.
Check out How Wee Learn to learn more about this craft.
Color Toss Activity
This activity requires a little DIY time. Cut holes in a piece of cardboard and write the colors on them. Use the colors of balls you have at home to paint them. You can decorate the entire board.
The goal of the game is easy: just shoot the colored balls into the holes on the cardboard that are the matching color. Give your kids points for each ball that goes through, and be ready to give them prizes when the game is over.
As they shoot the balls and run around to pick them up, they will burn off some energy. As they add up their scores, they will also learn about colors and how to count.
To check the details of this activity, visit Minne Mama.
DIY Hallway Laser Maze
A laser maze in your hallway? That could only mean fun! So go ahead and set one up for your kids.
They will try to get out of the maze while being careful not to touch the “lasers.” They will be twisting and bending their bodies, which is a great way to work out and improve their large motor skills.
Learn more about this activity at It’s Always Autumn.
Do you have some extra disposable cups at home? Then glue some together to create homemade bowling pins. Your children will have a great time knocking over these cups in the comfort of your home.
Check out Path Through the Narrow Gate to learn more about this activity.
Straw Javelin Throw
The point of this game is to throw a drinking straw and see who can get it to go the farthest. You can set up a point system and use bowls of different colors to keep track. The bowl closest to you might be worth 5 points, the next one 10 points, and so on. Your kids will compete to see who can throw the straw javelin the farthest and get the most points. Make sure to mark the area where they should stand.
Read more details about this creative movement activity at Toddler Approved.
Backyard Obstacle Course
Nothing spells movement activity better than a fantastic (and safe) obstacle course for your preschoolers! Simply create your course using items you already have in your yard, like planters, buckets, a garden hose, etc.
Your kids will be jumping, crawling, and weaving through the course. It could get messy, but that’s part of the fun, right?
Hopscotch is an old game that all kids should learn to play at some point. It is fun and a whole lot of physical movement is involved. It teaches kids the value of hand-eye coordination as well as improves motor skills.
Check out Empowered Parents if you need more ideas on how to do this activity with your preschoolers.
Tin Can Golf
If you want an easy indoor activity that helps your kids improve their motor skills, this is the one for you.
Create a mini golf course inside your home using tin cans. Make sure you clear the cans of sharp edges so that your little ones do not get hurt when they take out the balls when playing. Children will love being able to putt into tin cans and improve their motor skills.
For more details about this craft, check out The Craft Train.
Laundry Basket Ball
This activity is a makeshift version of a normal basketball game that also includes some crossover from soccer. But you use a laundry basket instead of a hoop. This is a fun way to get your kids moving, especially when you just want to do something unique with your kids.
Check Imaginative Homeschool for more details about this DIY kids’ game.
Alphabet Scavenger Hunt
This is a twist on the usual scavenger hunt. This time, each item on the list that your kids need to find starts with a letter of the alphabet. They will be running around your house looking for these things. In one version, there is a list of things to find. In the other version, there is a space next to each letter, so your kids can find anything at home that starts with that letter. It gives your kids the perfect mix of physical and mental activity they need!
See more ideas for this activity at Play Party Plan.
This is another classic game that your kids can easily play with their siblings or friends when they want to learn something new while having fun.
Sneak a lot of physical movements into what “Simon says” so that you can help your kids start learning gross motor skills.
For more ideas, visit Homeschool Preschool.
Musical Hide and Seek
This is an excellent activity for kids who are still learning the concept of hiding and seeking. You will need a toy that plays music or can be wound up. You turn on the music, hide the toy, and let your child follow the sound to find it.
It encourages movement and enhances auditory skills as well as cognitive skills. This is an activity that can help to enhance your child’s motor skills and improve his memory.
The Animal Tag
Kids love the game “tag” because it brings them together to collaborate and win. It is also full of challenges for motor planning, agility, coordination, balance, endurance, and ways to improve general gross motor skills. In this game of tag, your kids will pretend to be their favorite zoo animals, like kangaroos, monkeys, cheetahs, or zebras! There must also be two players who play the monkey, who will free the other players if they get locked up, and the zookeeper, or “IT,” who will tag the players.
The only way for a player to move is as the animal they are given at the beginning of the game. So expect to see the kids galloping like zebras or jumping like kangaroos.
The Inspired Treehouse has more details about this unique game of tag.
Brain breaks are fun when you use Mimic Me movement cards. You can buy cards already made online, or you can make your own. This fun, interactive movement game or brain break is great for preschoolers who need to get up and move around. During the game, you just show your kids a card, and they act out what it says. Once a player is out, they can’t join again until the end of the round. In each round, the winner is the last player still in the game.
You can see Teachers Pay Teachers’ blog post to learn more!