5 motor skill activities for children to try at home
There are many fun and easy ways to incorporate movement at home for kids. Using movement based activities helps children improve and fine tune their balance, coordination and rhythm thereby helping them throw, catch or jump better. These activities can be completed with or without Soundsory headphones.
1. Obstacle Courses
This is an easy and fun way to get your child moving! There are so many things within the home that you can use to build them and create motor challenges.
Collect all the pillows and cushions you can find in your house, even a kid's size mattress if you’re feeling brave!Set them up in a line, a circle, a zigzag line or have the line move in between rooms.
The challenge is to have your child crawl on top of the pillows without falling off. Or try and walk and balance on all the pillows without falling off. Have them crawl forwards on the pillows, and try crawling backwards on them as well. If your child can so somersaults, have them do somersaults on them.
Add other objects to the course - The first part could be the pillow crawl followed by crawling around chairs, under chairs or even over chairs under the supervision of a parent. Draping a sheet between two chairs to make a tunnel can be a fun, motivating idea as well!
2. Eye-Hand Coordination Activity
If you have balloons left over from a birthday party, use them to play balloon volleyball with kids. They are soft and safe to be used indoors.
Set up a string from one side of the room to the other and have the child try and pass the balloon back and forth across the string. You could add a visual challenge and write letters on the balloon so they have to call out the letter that they see when the balloon arrives to them or just before they are going to hit it.
Make your child stand on one foot while trying to tap the balloon back and forth. This helps the body build balance.
3. Laundry Games
Make the most out of laundry days in your homes by organizing interactive games with children using your freshly laundered items!. This is a perfect way to work on some visual vestibular integration and getting some household work done!
- On laundry day take all your clean socks and place them in a pile between you and your child. Place the laundry basket a short distance behind your child. Hold one pair of socks up in front of your child so that they can reach up to grab it. As the child tries to bend over, toss the socks through their legs and into the laundry basket.
- You could also have your child help put away their folded clothes. Place the laundry basket on the floor next to the drawers or shelf where the clothes belong. Your child then bends down to pick up their clothes and then reaches up to put them away thereby engaging in a repetitive movement based activity.
- Add a cognitive challenge by asking them to pick up a specific item. For example, “Can you give me the striped shirt” or “can you give me the orange socks”!
4. Animal Walks
These walks are fun and easy activities to do to get from room to room in your home.
Frog Hop - Make your kids crouch down so that their hands touch the ground between their feet. Spring up like a bouncy frog.
Kangaroo Jump - Keep your child's legs together, bend the knees a bit, and ask them to jump around as high as they can. You could hold a stuffed animal in front of them as if they have a kangaroo pouch of their own.
Penguin Waddle - Keep the child's arms tight by their body and ask them to gently waddle side to side as they walk. You could put a small ball or stuffed animal on top of their feet and see if they can waddle without dropping the object.
- Duck Waddle - As the child squats, tuck their hands into their armpits to make “duck wings” and ask them to flap their arms as they walk.
Dancing is a super easy way to add movement into your child's day. They can do this while wearing Soundsory as the music is designed to tap into various rhythms to get you moving or simply put on a favorite song, switch the Soundsory mode to bluetooth and pair it with your listening device! The repetitive movements involved in dance can help improve muscle tone, posture, as well as balance and coordination.
- Freeze dance - Put on your child's favorite jam and let them dance, move, shake until they hear the music stop. At that exact moment, they need to freeze their body and the challenge is to see how long they can keep still.
- Musical chairs - Moving around the chairs in a circle in time with the music and listening intently for when the music stops is a great movement activity.
- Playing various pieces of music with various tempos allows your child to continue to work on those listening skills. It would allow you to gauge whether your child can groove faster to a fast paced song and then slow down with a slower piece of music.