Motor Planning Activities with Sidewalk Chalk | The OT Toolbox

Motor Planning Activities with Sidewalk Chalk

Motor planning is a skill that is needed for every action that we do!  The motor planning activities in this post are designed to promote motor movement development into play, using sidewalk chalk. These are the perfect activity for outdoor play with a sensory component.  Find more information about motor planning and how to incorporate motor development into play by checking out the tab above under occupational therapy.

Work on motor planning activities when outdoors using sidewalk chalk to address gross motor needs, core strengthening, and praxis.

What does motor planning look like? 

Let's first talk about what you might see in the child with motor planning difficulties:
The child that moves as if they can't figure out where to put their arms and legs.

The child who is frustrated with movements.

The child who bumps into other students in the classroom or in crowded hallways.

The child who falls or stumbles way too often for their age.

The child who can't figure out how to perform tasks if they are holding an object.

The child who avoids sports because they can't move fast enough to catch a ball or perform several tasks at once (catch, run, throw).

"What is motor planning?" is a common question.  Motor planning involves problem solving, planning, and action related to movement.  This is a HUGE collection of skills and results in hugely different outward appearances in kids.  One child who struggles with motor planning can present totally different than another.

Motor Planning Activities with Chalk

These activities use sidewalk chalk to address motor planning and movement. Work on these activities on a small scale or a big scale.  That's the benefit of using chalk- You can draw a small hopscotch board on a sidewalk step and use your fingers to "hop" through the course.  OR, you can create a gigantic hopscotch board in an empty parking lot and leap from square to square!

All of the activities listed below can be modified in size.  Think outside of the box of chalk so to speak!

Even drawing and creating the activities below involve motor planning.  In fact, motor planning is a huge part of handwriting.  Read more about motor planning and handwriting to see what I mean. 


Sidewalk Chalk Motor Planning Ideas


  • Hopscotch
  • 4 square
  • Balance Beam - Draw a line that involves lots of turns and bends!
  • Draw to the beat of music
  • Draw a game board - Think Monopoly, Candyland, Sorry, or Chutes and Ladders.
  • Draw a bowling alley
  • Draw a baseball field
  • Draw a ping pong table
  • Draw a bullseye - Throw pebbles or bean bags at the target
  • Draw a big road - Run or ride bikes/scooters on the road.
  • Draw a railroad track
  • Make a sidewalk maze
  • Obstacle courses- Use symbols to indicate "stop", "jump", and "turn around", and arrows for directions.
Try using chalk to make a balance beam while working on motor planning skills. 

Work on motor planning activities when outdoors using sidewalk chalk to address gross motor needs, core strengthening, and praxis.

Working on Handwriting?