We are moving on to the second category in our Play Ideas series as part of #100daysofplay with Chad Valley. This time, I’m sharing active play ideas to help develop gross motor skills and use up energy.

Often imaginary games can involve a lot of active play too, as the children charge around pretending to be knights or pirates. I have vivid memories of running around with my friends in the infant school playground pretending to be mystical birds!

The ideas above give lots of opportunities for gross motor play, developing skills like balance, jumping and catching allowing children to strengthen their bodies and build their confidence and self esteem. These activities provide vestibular sensory input for the child as they roll, twirl, swing and balance. All children need a balanced diet of sensory input, not only children with sensory processing difficulties or special needs. Most children really need and enjoy this active play time. This type of activity is also a great way to burn off energy, helping children to sleep better at night.

Over 20 active play ideas to help develop gross motor skills #100daysofplay

Gross Motor Active Play Ideas

  • Space hoppers
  • Skipping games
  • Relay Race
  • Climbing frames
  • Bikes
  • Scooters
  • Trampolines
  • Walk like a dinosaur / tiger / cat / train etc
  • Dancing
  • Hand Stands / Cartwheels / Rolling
  • Running up and down hills
  • Balancing on a beam or short wall
  • Football
  • Traditional playground games like “Tag” or “What’s the time Mr Wolf”
  • Traditional circle games like “ring a ring a rosie” or “hokey cokey”
  • Obstacle Course
  • Throwing and catching bean bags
  • Frisbee
  • Traffic Lights game (green for run fast, amber for slow, red for stop)
  • Party games like musical statues, musical chairs or musical bumps
  • Balance board or wobble board

gross motor play with a space hopper

For more play ideas, follow our Kids Ideas & Activities Pinterest board

Follow Anna – In The Playroom’s board kids Ideas and activities on Pinterest.

Image: Young child having fun at the playground Shutterstock (modified) Girl playing on a space hopper  Shutterstock