Indoor motor development activities

Inside activities for children during winter months.

With the bitter cold Michigan has been experiencing this winter, young children may be starting to get restless, and Let’s face it, at times it can be a little stressful to parents and caretakers. Children desire to move because their motor development is developing rapidly. Not only does physical activity help develop gross motor skills, but it also helps children release energy.

As parents may have noticed, soon after a toddler learns how to walk, they are almost always in motion. This kind of desire to move is a natural process of motor development. No sooner has the child accomplished one physical task but they will challenge themselves to seek more challenging motor skills tasks; from walking, to climbing to running and so on. Michigan State University Extension says this need to release energy and get some exercise will continue for a long time.

Parents can help their children release some of this energy in creative and constructive ways. Some indoor physical activities that parents with young children can encourage are:

  • Using tape on a rug or floor and constructing a hop scotch shape can be fun and parents can tape letter or numbers that can be recited as children jump.
  • One can also tape a long strip of tape and pretend it is a bridge for children to practice stepping one foot in front of the other. This is a difficult skill and develops around the age four.
  • Parents can make alligator or fish cut-outs and paste on the sides to make it fun.
  • Parents can also put strips of tape with spacing’s for the children to challenge them themselves jumping over the lines. Children start developing jumping skills at approximately 23 months. Safety is important, so, parents need to make sure the areas are cleared and children are wearing nonslip footwear.
  • To help develop eye/hand coordination parents can hang a sock-ball like a piñata and use a paper towel tube for hitting. This activity would be appropriate for 24-36 month children.
  • According to , another eye/hand coordination activity for 3- to 5-year olds is using a Nerf ball start by facing each other, about a foot apart. Toss the ball to the child and he can toss it back to you. Each time a catch is made you both take one step backward. If a catch is missed, take one step forward.

Being active does not have to take place outside and with little creativity, parents can provide fun activities indoors.

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