Fall and Halloween weather may mean some indoor days but there are still ways for young children to have some gross motor movement fun. Ways that are easy on furniture and bodies.
Gross motor means movement activities that use the large muscles of the body like running, skipping, hopping, running, rolling, slithering, and more running. Sometimes I think hallways in a house could more accurately be called runways. However kids move, they need physical activities not just for their bodies but their brains too. Movement wires the brain for math and language by creating neural pathways and connections.
What are some ways that kids can move indoors? If kids have experienced strong winds outside that blow leaves all around, they can make the wind noise and swirl around in a hallway or other safe space. Parents and caregivers can add an occasional commentary such as, “The leaves are flying all around.” Make a few windy, gusty sounds too because it can be nice to have an appreciative audience. Kids tend to move in short, vigorous bursts so after a few minutes of this, they might need a quick break. Perhaps, the leaves could be resting on the ground.
Some other ideas for movement fun could be creeping around like a ghost that barely makes a sound, flying around like a witch on a broomstick, stomping like a monster (maybe that one is not so great for apartments and people below), whirring like a robot, using huge steps like a dinosaur, shaking like a skeleton, or swooping like an owl.
Because there are so many costumes, kids could also hop like bunnies, flit like butterflies, and crawl like ladybugs. Kids will have their own suggestions for how they want to move in a space. Save a few strategies such as being an old, slow turtle or sitting still like a pumpkin for moments when calm and quiet are needed.
Big muscle activities are vital for children’s development. Is there space and time in your child’s day for some gross motor movement fun?