Group Gross Motor Core Strengthening Friendship Activity

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When there are a group of kids, gross motor games are a great way to build friendship and establish relationships.  These bean bag games are movement gross motor activities that improve core strengthening with a friendship theme.  They are fun ways to add a movement break in the classroom, a creative ice breaker game for a group of new friends, and a playful ways to promote friendship with movement.  Bean bag games improve core strengthening through whole body movement and these friendship themed games are one that will build memories.

Friendship theme gross motor bean bag activity for kids in preschool, classroom.

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Gross Motor Core Strengthening Movement Activities

Building core strength is important for so many reasons: attention, focus, and positioning are just a few reasons to strengthen the core.  Read more about core strengthening and attention here

Why play bean bag games?

  • There are several reasons why bean bag games are a great addition to any kids’ day.
  • Bean bag games are a great movement and core strengthening activity. They are an easy way to add a movement brain break to classroom activities. 
  • Movement games foster friendship and invite conversation in groups like classrooms, youth groups, play dates, and birthday parties.
  • Bean bag games offer repetition with heavy work, adding proprioception for a calming and organizing activity.
  • Bean bag games offer an opportunity for gross motor visual motor integration skill work, which is necessary for developing the skills needed for handwriting, reading, and learning.
  • Bean bag games allow a child to build core muscle strength.
  • Group games with bean bags build problem solving and group interactions.
For our bean bag friendship activity, we attempted to build core muscle strength through repetition of core muscle building.  This would be a good activity for a group setting.  
We used the ice cream bean bags that we made last summer.  Read more about how to make the ice cream cone bean bags here.  
While any bean bags would work for these friendship movement activities, we used what we had in the house, and they went perfectly with our book for this week, Mo Willems’ Should I Share My Ice Cream.  (Tell me, are your kids as Elephant and Piggy obsessed as mine are???)

Gross Motor Core Strengthening Bean Bag Ideas

Line up your group of kids.  We played a few different games and they all involved FUN!
  1. Bean Bag Slide- Kids can line up side by side, facing in the same direction. Start with all of the bean bags to the left side of one child.  The first child should reach down and grab one bean bag. They can then slide the bean bag on the floor between their legs, placing it behind them.  The child to their right should lean down and grab the bean bag between their legs.  They can then place the bean bag on the floor in front of their feet.  The child to their right can grab the bean bag and continue it down the line of kids.
  2. Bean Bag Over Head- Kids can sit on the ground one in front of the other.  The bean bags should begin in a pile in front of the first child.  That child can pick up one bean bag and place it over their head to pass it to the next child behind them. That child can grab the bean bag and pass it over their head to the child behind them. Continue down the line.
  3. Bean Bag Side to Side- Kids can sit in a line behind one another. The kids should pass bean bags down the line by twisting at the core to rotate their trunk. Continue the bean bag pass down the line.
  4. Bean Bag Toss- Kids should line up in a line by standing up a few feet from one another.  One child should pass one bean bag to the next student by tossing a low toss to the next child.  Try to keep the bean bag close to the ground but not touching the ground. Continue to pass bean bags down the line. 
  5. Bean Bag Foot Pass- Kids can lie on their backs in a line.  The fist child should use only their feet to pick up one bean bag and pass it to the next child. That child should grab the bean bag using only their feet.  Continue all of the bean bags down the line.
Each of these games can be done in a line or in a circle.
Gross motor bean bag game for a group with a friendship theme.

Group friendship activity for preschoolers

By playing a group game, children can build friendships, foster relationships, problem solve, resolve conflicts, learn from others, and establish many other powerful developmental benefits of group activities.
For this friendship gross motor activity, we first, read one of our favorite Elephant and Piggy books, Should I Share My Ice Cream.  We then used our ice cream bean bags to play a friendship game together.  As we passed the ice cream bean bags, we shared ways to be helpful.  Sharing with a friend is just one way to be nice to a friend.  Being helpful at school, making a nice card, or inviting a friend to play are other ways to be nice to a friend. As we passed the bean bags to one another, saying these qualities of a friend allowed us to slow down in the bean bag passing game.  This way, we could build muscle strength with slow movements. 
While we used the ice cream bean bags, you could read the book and  use any bean bags in your gross motor friendship activity!
What are your favorite bean bag games?
Friendship themed bean bag activity for gross motor core strengthening exercies
Check out more Friendship themed activities based on Should I Share My Ice Cream? in the Virtual Book Club for Kids series:
Spelling Names Ice-Cream Centre from Still Playing School
Kind Words Sensory lesson from Preschool Powol Packets
Listening Games with Elephant and Piggie from Inspiration Laboratories
Making Pumpkin Ice-Cream with Friends from The Educators’ Spin On It
Cupcake Cones from Kori at Home
How to Make a Catapult from JDaniel4’s Mom
Paper Tube Friendship Bracelets from Clare’s Little Tots
Preschool Pencil Control from Craft Create Calm
How to make Happy Faces in a Sand Tray from Big Owl, Little Owl, Whitty Hoots
Share the Ice-Cream Fine Motor Game from Views from a Step Stool
Friendship Ice Cream Throw from Adventures of Adam