Monthly Movement Activities | The OT Toolbox

Monthly Movement Activities

Adding extra movement breaks or brain breaks into the classroom or just daily play can be a helpful tool for improving the underlying skills kids need for strengthening or just getting the sensory input they crave and need to develop. Sometimes, it's as simple as coming up with creative ideas. Other times, kids play the same favorite gross motor games over and over again. These monthly sensory movement activities provide the sensory input and gross motor movement that kids need! 
Use these sensory movement ideas for kids to add movement and play into activities for kids all year long! They are perfect for play and occupational therapy activities.

Throwing a fresh and fun new game or activity at them can make a rainy indoor day more fun or can bring a little something different to a sunny afternoon outdoors. The best thing about these movement and play ideas is that they provide all of the right kind of sensory movement input that kids need to pay better attention, calm down, or self-regulate. 

The movement activities listed below are play ideas that promote proprioceptive input, vestibular input, gross motor skills, body awareness, fine motor skills, visual motor integration, bilateral coordination, crossing midline, core strengthening, motor planning, and so much more. Best of all, they are FUN! 

Given that so many kids are spending more time on screens and have less opportunities to play outside, I wanted to provide a big old list of movement pay ideas that can be incorporated into every day of the year! These ideas cover each month and have themes but can be expanded on so that every day of every month is covered. 

Therapists will love to use these movement activities as home programs or as part of therapy interventions. Teachers could sneak some of these movement ideas into the school day as brain breaks, indoor recess activities, or movement breaks to improve attention. 

Parents will love adding these activities into everyday of the year to get the kid active and moving both indoors and outdoors! 

This year of movement activity list is part of our A Year of Sensory Play packet. It's a printable packet of TONS of themed activities that will last the whole year long. Each activity is designed to promote movement and sensory processing through sensory challenges and play activities. There are 67 pages in the Year of Sensory Play Packet  and the activities cover every season. The packet also includes 12 months of sensory planning sheets, and the monthly movement activities listed below. There are also monthly sensory bin filler ideas so that every month of the year is covered when it comes to gross motor and fine motor sensory play. 

The Year of Sensory Play packet is a resource for planning out and actually USING the sensory ideas that provide sensory input kids need to develop the skills they require for attention, focus, regulation, handwriting, learning, managing clothing fasteners, and overall functioning as a thriving kiddo! 

The Year of Sensory Play is one of the bonus items that is included in our upcoming book releases, The Sensory Lifestyle handbook. To celebrate the release of the book, we've got a HUGE set of bonus items that parents, teachers, and therapists will love. 

The Year of Sensory Play is just ONE of the bonus items readers will get for free when they grab the Sensory Lifestyle Handbook. The bonus items and the celebration period will only last for a week, so if you are looking for sensory play ideas to use all year long and think you want The Year of Sensory Play in your therapy toolbox, you'll want to get the deal while you can. 

Watch The OT Toolbox for more information about the Sensory Lifestyle handbook and all of the bonus offers that will be coming your way in the next couple of weeks! 

Now onto the sensory play ideas! 

Monthly Movement Activity Ideas

Try incorporating these ideas into each month for a year of movement and fun!

January Movement Activity Ideas

Jumping Jacks
Indoor Yoga
"Snowman Says"
Indoor Tag
Build a couch fort
Hide and Seek
Brain Break YouTube Videos
Build with blocks
Indoor parade
Packing peanuts
Blanket tug-of-war
Bean bag toss
Hop on paper snowflakes

February Movement Activity Ideas

Heart hopscotch
Obstacle course
Masking tape maze
Paper plate ice skating
Slide on cardboard on carpet
Indoor snowball fight (paper)
Draw on windows-dry erase marker
Scrub floors with soapy water
Build with cardboard boxes
Gross motor Uno
Bedsheet parachute play
Crawl through tunnels
Movement scavenger hunt
Marching games
Wash walls

March Movement Activity Ideas

Indoor trampoline

"Leprechaun Says"
Therapy ball
Sit and spin
Dance party
Balloon ball toss

Shamrock balance beam
Hoola hoop
Dribble a basketball
Plastic Easter egg race on spoons
Animal walks
Roll down hills
Easter egg hunt

April Movement Activity Ideas

Playground tour
Jump in puddles
Bear walks
Dig in dirt
Plant flowers
Sidewalk chalk race
Trace shadows with chalk
Bounce ball on wall
Flutter like a butterfly
Grow like a flower
Pick flowers
Fill a recycle bin
Wheelbarrow walks
Crawl like a bug
Draw big flowers with both hands

May Movement Activity Ideas

Leaf balance beam
Hoola hoop race
Beach ball toss
Ride bikes
Mother May I
Use a bike pump
Outdoor yoga
Swim relay
Bouncing ball tic tac toe
Lawn games
Jungle gym
Outdoor picnic
Bounce a ball on a line
Collect sticks

June Movement Activity Ideas

Craw walks
Log balance beam
"King of the Mountain"
Kick a ball course
Throw paper airplanes
Hammer golf tees into ground
Climb trees
Play catch
TV Tag
Ride scooters
Collect nature
Walk a dog
Toy scavenger hunt

July Movement Activity Ideas

Fly like a bee
Jump waves
Creep like a caterpillar
Catch fireflies
Jump rope balance beam
Leap frog
Freeze tag
Shadow puppets
Put up a tent
Water balloon race
Pull a wagon
Pillow fight
Blow bubbles

August Movement Activities Ideas

Slither like a snake
Hop like a frog
August Sensory Bin
Catch bugs
Gallop like a horse
Sort seeds
Small toys frozen in ice
Finger paints
Hang clothes on a clothes line
Hunt for sounds
Walk with a ball between legs
Hit a kickball with tennis racket
Run through sprinkler
Pick fruit or berries
Water table play

September Movement Activity Ideas

Write on sandpaper
Pool noodle balance beam
Balance board
Hop on leaves
Scurry like a squirrel
Fall hike
Bob for apples
Roll like a pumpkin
Fall leaf hunt
Collect acorns
Family walk
Bike parade
Wash the car
Donkey kicks
Waddle like a duck

October Movement Activity Ideas

Spin like a spider
Carve a pumpkin
Stretch spider web netting
Punch holes in leaves
Cut leaves
Football toss
Farmer in the Dell
Jump in pillows
Paper football
"Scarecrow Says"
Autumn art projects with leaves
Wash apples
Chair push-ups
Make applesauce

November Movement Activity Ideas

Jump in leaves
Rake leaves
Catch falling leaves
Waddle like a turkey
"Turkey Pokey"
Thread beads on feathers
Flashlight Tag
Thanksgiving Charades
Crumble and stomp on leaves
Trace leaves
Turkey hunt
Roll a pumpkin
Run in place
Cut feathers
Blow a feather with a straw

 December Movement Activity Ideas

Christmas themed yoga
Wrap presents
"Santa Says"
Prance like a reindeer
Shovel relay race 
Decorate a tree
Roll and knead dough
Pull a sled
Crunchy walk on ice or snow
Holiday themed charades
Holiday march
Jingle Bell Catch
Relay with gift bow on a spoon
Stocking guessing game
Push boxes

Looking for more ideas to add movement throughout the day? Check out The Sensory Lifestyle handbook to add sensory input throughout daily activities to create a lifestyle of sensory success! 

I've worked to create a book on creating an authentic and meaningful sensory lifestyle that addresses sensory needs. The book is now released as a digital e-book or softcover print book, available on Amazon. 

The Sensory Lifestyle Handbook walks you through sensory diet creation, set-up, and carry through. Not only that, but the book helps you take a sensory diet and weave it into a sensory lifestyle that supports the needs of a child with sensory processing challenges and the whole family.

The Sensory Lifestyle Handbook is a resource for creating sensory diets and turning them into a lifestyle of sensory success through meaningful and motivating sensory enrichment.

Use these monthly movement activities to encourage sensory input or gross motor play all year long.