Dinosaur Game Kids Love

dinosaur game

This dinosaur game is a huge hit among kids. It’s a movement-based dinosaur activity that kids of all ages love. If you are looking for creative dinosaur games to use in therapy, at home, or in the classroom, then be sure to add this dinosaur game for kids to your list!

Use the dinosaur game below along with these dinosaur exercises and other dinosaur themed activities in therapy sessions. You can even incorporate handwriting and visual motor skills into dinosaur games with this printable dinosaur visual perception worksheet.

This dinosaur game is great for kids who love dinosaurs!

Dinosaur Game for Kids

This dinosaur game is an older blog post here on the website, but it’s a gross motor activity that is well-loved for many reasons.

There is just something about the stomping and roaring of a dinosaur game that takes me back to my own kids at their preschool ages! This is an older post here on The OT Toolbox, but one that is one of my absolute favorites.

We read the dinosaur book, Dinosaurumpus by Tony Mitton…and created a fun dino game that the kids loved! Our dinosaur movement game inspired tons of giggles and wiggles as we moved our way through this book with a gross motor activity!  

The gross motor coordination tasks and motor planning skills make this dinosaur game the perfect addition to dinosaur physical therapy and dinosaur occupational therapy themes.

When kids play this dinosaur movement game, they build skills in areas such as:

  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Balance
  • Whole body coordination
  • Crossing midline
  • Position changes
  • Heavy work input
  • Proprioceptive input
  • Vestibular input
  • Visual scanning and visual processing skills

The specific activities in the game allow kids to develop skills such as hopping, jumping, twisting, stomping, and other gross motor tasks.

How to Play the Dinosaur Game:

We’ve included affiliate links in this post for the book and items you’ll need to create the DIY Dinosaur game.    

Have you read the book, Dinosaurumpus!?  This is a book that is sure to get the kids moving with it’s loud and active rhymes as the dinosaurs dance an irresistible romp. 

Using this book and the game you’ll find here together is a great dinosaur game for toddlers and preschoolers to address listening skills, comprehension, and regulation through movement and play.

My kids couldn’t help but move and groove as I read them the story.  We had to make a movement gross motor game to go along with the book!  We talked about the fact that dinosaurs have big feet and big bodies that sometimes move too fast in the space around them.

This is a great lesson on body awareness that kids can relate to.

 

Dinosaur movement game for kids. This gross motor game is based on Dinosaurumpus the book and is a great activity for auditory and visual recall in kids.

 Make this game easily using our free printable for the game board.  We listed out the dinosaurs in the book and the actions they did.    

These went onto a game spinner that I made on  card stock.  We used dinosaur figures for part of our movement game.  These ones are a great deal!  

Free dinosaur game printable

Dinosaur Game Printable

To play the dinosaur movement game:

This is a dinosaur movement activity for preschool and older aged kids. Use in in the classroom or home as part of a story and reading activity, or use it as a dinosaur brain break in the classroom. 

First print out the free printable.  You’ll also want the game rules for easy play and the spinner piece.  

  1. Print your printable on card stock OR you can use regular printer paper for the game board, but the arrow won’t spin as well. You may want to print the game spinner on paper and then glue to cardboard for more sturdiness during (active) play. Make your game board and ensure the arrow spins using a brass fastener.
  2. One player hides the dinosaur figures around the room or outdoor play area.  
  3. The first player spins the arrow and reads the action.  He or she then races off to find one of the hidden dinosaurs.  
  4. When she finds a dinosaur, she races back and performs the action.  

Hide dinosaur figurines and use them in the dinosaur game for preschoolers and toddlers to develop motor skills.

There will be shakes, stomps, jumps, and TONS of giggles with this gross motor activity!   

We loved this game activity for it’s gross motor action.  It would be a great activity for rainy day fun or indoor play when the kids need to get the wiggles out.  Racing off and remembering the action they must perform requires a child to recall auditory and visual information necessary for so many functional skills.  

Dinosaur game rules for kids
Kids can spin the wheel on the dinosaur game to build gross motor skills.

  We hid the dinosaurs in all sorts of fun spaces in the house.  

Spin the wheel on the dinosaur game to support fine motor skills.
Spin the wheel on the dinosaur game to support fine motor skill development, too.

The dinosaurs in the book, Dinosaurumpus! move a lot!  Get ready for stomping, shaking, diving, dancing, running, jumping, twisting, and spinning!  

Move like a dinosaur with this dinosaur game for kids

My kids love any kind of scavenger hunt game and this one, with its movement portion, was a HUGE hit!

Dinosaur gross motor movement game based on the book, Dinosaurumpus!

 Gross motor skills are important to develop through play.  It’s essential for attention and focus to build core body strength.    

More Gross Motor Games

Looking for more ways to work on gross motor skills like core strength and proximal stability for improved attention and distal mobility?

Some more of our favorite gross motor activities that you will love:  

.

If you are looking for more dinosaur activities for kids, be sure to check out our Dinosaur Jacks activity to promote more motor skills, and our Dinosaur visual perception worksheet to work on visual perceptual skills.

Dinosaur game for kids that is a great preschool dinosaur activity for gross motor skills.

Free Dinosaur Game Printable

Want to play this dino game with kids you work with in therapy or in the classroom? Print off the game pieces using the free printable. Simply enter your email address into the form below to access.

Want to add this resource to your therapy toolbox so you can help kids thrive? Enter your email into the form below to access this printable tool.

This resource is just one of the many tools available in The OT Toolbox Member’s Club. Each month, members get instant access to downloadable activities, handouts, worksheets, and printable tools to support development. Members can log into their dashboard and access all of our free downloads in one place. Plus, you’ll find exclusive materials and premium level materials.

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Free Dinosaur Game

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    Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

    Alphabet Exercises for Kids

    Alphabet exercises for indoor gross motor activities for kids

    Exercise for kids is so important on many levels. Use these alphabet exercises to help build skills, and get the kids moving with an alphabet theme. Add this alphabet for kids activity to your list of gross motor coordination activities.

    Why Use these Alphabet Exercises?

    In therapy, we look to help children build their gross motor skills, core strength and endurance, body awareness, motor planning, and self-regulation skills. It is recognized that regular exercise can help defend against childhood mental health and behavioral disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

    The consistent engagement in physical activity promotes overall health and wellness and provides a more grounded mindset for daily living and participation in life activities.

    These alphabet exercises were actually created as a resource in 2020, when many children were working remotely. With all of the time that children spent completing school work as part of teletherapy activities, or even their increased time engaging with electronics at home, they needed encouragement to exercise or simply participate in physical activity during the day.

    However, there is even more of a need for these alphabet exercise even though most students are back to traditional learning environments. Students are on screens more than ever before. The symptoms of too much screen time is evident. Additionally, therapists are seeing more of a need to address self-regulation challenges in schools and in homes.

    That’s where this movement-based alphabet for kids comes in as a support activity.

    Research tells us that outdoor play is essential. However, even going outside to play or engage in motor skills is a challenge for some children!

    Making exercise a fun playtime activity is the best way to help a child build skills while benefiting their health and wellness and keeping weight in check.  

    Exercise can build confidence and self-esteem, helping a child to feel better about themselves and increasing their overall happiness.

    Alphabet Exercises

    One way to engage children in activity is with a structured therapy band exercise program, however, occupational therapy home programs can be creative and use out-of-the-box ideas like this ABC theme exercise activity.

    For a printable PDF version of this alphabet exercise page, scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email address.

    These letter exercises are also available in an interactive Google slide deck where students can move parts of the slide as they complete each letter activity. Click here to access that ABC exercises slide deck.

    Alphabet exercises for indoor gross motor activities for kids

    Alphabet Gross Motor ACTIVITIES

    Would you like a playful way to engage a child or children in therapy exercises or in a home exercise program?

    How about trying this fun ABC’s of Exercise activity page? There are many ways to use these alphabet exercise letters in learning and occupational therapy activities guided by individual goals.

    • Children can either spell words or even their names to engage in the physical activity which accompanies each letter.
    • Use some homework spelling words and perform the exercises related to them! Wow…homework AND exercise!
    • Another easier way to play is by placing either A through Z foam letters, Bananagrams, or Scrabble tiles into a bag or basket and then have the child pull one letter out at a  time and match it to the corresponding letter on the ABC’s of Exercise chart to perform the exercise listed.
    • Work through the child’s name for an individualized exercise program.
    • Add the letter gross motor activities to a letter of the week learning program.

    Don’t have foam letters or board game letter tiles?  No worries, just grab some puzzle pieces, folded pieces of paper, beans or craft sticks and write the letters on them!

    Toss any of these into a bag or basket and pick one…easy and cheap!  You can also incorporate some handwriting with this activity too by having them write each exercise letter or a word beginning with that letter after they complete the exercise.

    The best part about this activity page is that it is open-ended so you (or they) get to determine how many to perform of each exercise and how many exercise letters to perform.

    In addition to being open-ended, this activity page provides a wonderful opportunity for teaching students exercises which can later be used when the child is feeling heightened and needing some self-regulation intervention tools.

    Use the activity sheet as an inclusion tool for a whole class activity, small group or individual therapy session, or even as a supplement to a motor pathway in the school building! Have the child do the activity that spells their name when using it as part of a motor pathway in school!

    The following list are the exercises and their descriptions which are utilized in the ABC’s of Exercise resource:

    ABC Exercises:

    A is for arm rolls gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Arm rolls – Have child lift arms out from their sides and rotate arms in small circular patterns, first forward and then backward.

    B is for butterfly legs gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Butterfly legs– Have child sit on the floor with legs flexed and bottom of feet touching. Then have them flap their legs up and down to resemble the wings of a butterfly.

    C is for crab walk gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Crab walk – Have child sit on the floor, lean back on their arms and lift their body up with their legs and arms to walk along the floor resembling the walk of a crab.

    D is for duck walk gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Duck walk – Have child squat down and walk on the floor while squatted resembling the walk of a duck. Add having them bend their arms up to make them look like duck wings.

    E is for elephant trunk swing gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Elephant trunk swing – Have child stand up and lean forward with arms extended and fingers linked together. Once this position is achieved, have child sway their arms left and right resembling an elephant’s trunk.

    F is for frog jumps gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Frog hops – Have child squat down on the floor with their arms in front of them and have them leap forward as far as possible resembling a jumping frog. Do this repeatedly.

    G is for giant leaps gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Giant tape lines – Place tape lines on the floor to work on jumping from line to line or complete giant jumps by attempting to jump as far as possible from a standing position.

    H is for high knees gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    High knees – Have child lift alternating knees up to hands for tapping and while marching around the room. Have them lift knees as high as possible.

    I is for incline climb gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Incline climb – Have child climb up a slide, long wedge or hillside or toss the couch cushion or even the bed mattress in the floor and make a ramp. If all else fails, just use the stairs!

    J is for jumping jacks gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

     Jumping jacks – Have child start by standing with arms out to their sides and legs together then have them jump while spreading their legs and feet apart and arms up and over their head. Follow with bringing arms back to sides and legs and feet back together.

    K is for knee squats gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

     Knee squats – Have child start with standing up and then squatting to floor and back up again, repeatedly.

    L is for lunges gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

     Lunges – Have child step forward with one leg and lower their hips until both knees are bent, then push back up to starting position. Alternate legs.

    M is for mega jumps gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

     Mega jumps – Have child jump from a higher level to the floor, either from a chair, sofa, steps, etc. or they could also simply try to jump as far as possible forward and then try to jump farther each time to beat their last distance.

    N is for neck rolls gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

     Neck rolls – Have child stand or sit to roll their neck and head in a circular pattern from left to right and from right to left.

    O is for overhead stretch gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Overhead stretches – Have child reach up overhead, link fingers together and stretch arms up as high as possible. Add standing on tiptoes to make it really high. 

    P is for push ups gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Push-ups – Have child lie on the floor and push their body up with their hands and arms. If a regular push-up is too difficult, complete knee push-ups by simply weight bearing on flexed knees while completing push-ups rather than trying to weight bear on toes.

    Q is for quad stretches gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Quad stretches – Have child perform, sit to stands and stand to sits, while sitting in a chair. Do this repeatedly.

    R is for run in place gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Run in place – Have child run in place for a specific amount of time such as while counting to 20.

    S is for snake slither gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Snake slither – Have child lie on their stomach and move their body forward trying to keep as much of their body in contact with the floor as possible, similar to an army crawl.

    T is for toe touches gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Toe touches – Have child stand and bend over to touch their toes with their fingers and back up to standing. Do this repeatedly.

    U is for under over maze gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Under/over laser maze – Create a laser maze with use of tape, string, or streamers in the hallway and have child go under and over to move through it. Or have them crawl under tables and over furniture to achieve under/over.

    V is for vertical wall taps gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

     Vertical wall taps – Have child stand beside a wall and jump to tap the wall attempting to beat their last height touched with each jump.

    W is for windmills gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Windmills – Have child stand with arms and legs out to the sides. Have them bend over to touch right fingertips to left toes and back up to standing and then bend to touch left fingertips to right toes and back up to standing.

    X is for x marks the spot gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    X-marks the spot exercise – Have child cross over legs and feet and cross over arms and hands while jumping to create X patterns with extremities. Or complete ‘X’ cross crawls to work on cross-lateral activity of extremities.

    Y is for yoga gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Yoga poses – Have child pick a yoga pose to complete, such as cat pose, cobra pose, or shark pose.

    Z is for zig zag run gross motor activity part of an abc exercise for kids

    Zig-zag run – Use small obstacles to create a zig zag course or simply attempt to run a zig zag pattern.

    With home learning, indoor activities, and social distancing upon us, this exercise activity page will help meet the needs of your child so they can get in their daily exercise while also releasing some extra “cooped up” energy!

    Alphabet gross motor exercises for kids

    FREE Alphabet Exercise PDF

    Enter your email address below to access this free ABC PDF to add heavy work, core strength, movement, and gross motor skills with an alphabet theme. Use the printable alphabet exercise PDF as a poster for learning letters through movement.

    Best of all this alphabet for kids activity supports learning through play!

    Get a free ABC Exercise PDF

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      Resources:

      Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School. Editors: Harold W. Kohl, III and Heather D. Cook. Authors: Committee on Physical Activity and Physical Education in the School Environment; Food and Nutrition Board; Institute of Medicine. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2013 Oct 30.

      This post was written by contributor author, Regina Parsons-Allen.

      Powerful Action Rhymes and Nursery Rhymes with Actions

      nursery rhymes with actions

      Kids love finger plays and action rhymes.  You know the ones, right?  Here, we’re sharing nursery rhymes with actions that support development including gross motor coordination, bilateral coordination, and body awareness. These movement and rhyme phrases and songs that fill every childhood, preschool classroom, and library story time are a classic  part of childhood. 

      Rhymes with action movements inspire rhythm and rhyming skills, but there is more than that: They are engaging, fun, and repetitive ways to work on motor development.

      These nursery rhyme actions are great additions to nursery rhyme crafts!

      nursery rhymes with actions


      But, did you know that action rhymes help with childhood development? Childhood development and action rhymes go hand-in-hand so to speak.  Kids learn and grow by moving and repeating and then independently saying and singing rhymes that many kids could sing along to.  

      What are some ways that childhood development and action rhymes help a child grow?

      Action rhymes are a great way to address skills such as:

      Use these creative and powerful nursery rhymes with actions to develop skills in OT sessions.




      This post contains affiliate links.




      Looking for brain break videos for the classroom or home? Here are the best brain break videos on YouTube.

      What are action rhymes?

      Action rhymes are movement songs or nursery rhymes with movement.  

      They might be gross motor activities like “I’m a Little Teapot” or “Duck, Duck, Goose”. Or, they might be a fine motor activity like “Eensy Weensy Spider” or “Where is Thumbkin”.  

      There are so many nursery rhymes with actions out there that preschool classrooms are using or even making up to suit their needs, but one thing is common with all action rhymes; They have sing-song phrases and involve movement.  

      Fine Motor Action Rhymes:

      1. Where is Thumbkin?
      2. Creep Them, Creep Them
      3. Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee
      4. 5 in the Bed
      5. Eensy Weensy Spider

      Gross Motor Action Rhymes:

      1. Wheels on the Bus
      2. I’m a Little Teapot
      3. Duck, Duck, Goose
      4. Farmer in the Dell
      5. If You’re Happy and You Know It
      6. Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
      7. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
      8. 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
      9. Grand Old Duke of York

      How to use nursery rhymes with actions to build childhood development?
      Action rhymes and finger plays are perfect for the 18-24 month age range and the preschool years when so much development is occurring.  

      Consider all the ways a toddler or preschooler are developing: fine and gross motor skills, language, cognitive, social-emotional…these years are full of natural progression with development going through the roof!

      Childhood Development and Action Rhymes

      There are so many ways that nursery rhymes with actions help to build childhood development in a healthy way:

      • Fine Motor Skills– Use the fingers and hands to build dexterity, eye-hand coordination, and finger isolation through movement. Encourage kids to follow along with the fine motor action rhymes listed above to improve dexterity and fine motor control.
      • Gross Motor Skills– Using the trunk, legs, and shoulders builds strength in the limbs and core muscle strength needed for attention and focus. Read more developing core strength through movement rhymes here.
      • Social/Emotional Development– Striving for independence, asserting ones independence, engaging with peers, and an emerging awareness of ones own body and a sense of awareness of others is developing and growing in the toddler and preschool years.  Action rhymes in a group setting promote all of these areas. Encourage kids to connect with other children and adults by pairing up kids to perform action rhymes in small groups of kids.
      • Speech and Language Development– The toddler and preschool age sets are flourishing in language skills.  There is a huge opportunity for developing and building skills through repetitive action rhymes.  Children can be encouraged to develop these skills when encouraged to participate in verbal exchanges.  Further promote communication skills by asking questions about the rhymes.
      • Spatial Concepts– Important for awareness of ones self and position in space, as well as in visual motor integration tasks like handwriting, action rhymes allow children to explore position in space through movement. Encourage development and understanding of front/back, over/under, top/bottom, etc. Try this action rhyme trick: when a spatial term is mentioned in an action rhyme, try pointing in the direction instead of saying the words or phrases.
      • Attention Span– Action rhymes allow kids to focus for a period of time on a teacher as well as peers individual and group action rhyme activities. Encourage longer attention by increasing time spent singing action rhymes. Lead into a group activity with action rhymes or use them as a tool to take a break during seated tasks or classroom activities that require focus and attention. 
      • Cognitive Development– Using action rhymes, children are introduced to concepts such as numbers, colors, shapes, sizes, names, letters, and more. Concrete concepts of the toddler and preschool years can be enhanced to more abstract ideas through cognitive development using sensori-motor components of action rhymes.  Movement and learning are very well connected and action rhymes add a sing-song rhyming component as well. Additionally, concepts such as patterning, sequencing, and cause-effect are addressed through action rhymes.
      • Self-Concept– Action rhymes provide an opportunity to learn about body parts. Encourage kids to learn about their body parts with action rhymes like, “If You’re Happy and You Know It”
      • Behavior Development– Action rhymes promote movement and an appropriate opportunity for students to get wiggles and fidgets out in a classroom setting.  Following the rhyme actions, kids can discover how they can move their body in purposeful ways.
      Use these creative and powerful ideas to boost and build childhood development with action rhymes and finger plays with toddler and preschool kids in the classroom, home, or Occupational Therapy clinic.

        What are some favorite action rhymes in your classroom, home, or clinic?  

      More movement and development ideas you will love: 

      The Sensory Lifestyle Handbook walks you through sensory processing information, each step of creating a meaningful and motivating sensory diet, that is guided by the individual’s personal interests and preferences.

      The Sensory Lifestyle Handbook is not just about creating a sensory diet to meet sensory processing needs. This handbook is your key to creating an active and thriving lifestyle based on a deep understanding of sensory processing.

      Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

      Spring Gross Motor Activities

      Spring gross motor activities

      This blog post on Spring gross motor activities is part of our collection of Spring activities for occupational therapy. Here, we’ve got gross motor ideas that have a Spring-theme, including balance, coordination, stability, and gross motor coordination tasks like skipping, hopping, jumping, and throwing. You’ll find throwing activities, ways to work on the eye-hand coordination needed for catching a ball, bilateral coordination ideas, core strengthening activities, and more.

      These are the gross motor skill ideas that you can use in so many ways to address the skills kids need to succeed at home, at school, and in the community! Get the ideas below!

      These spring gross motor activities are great ways to build strength in kids, including posture, stability, core strength, shoulder stability, and coordination, balance, and posture.


      Spring Gross Motor Activities

       

      Before we cover the gross motor ideas for Spring, be sure to check out  our Spring Fine Motor Activities collection. You can add ideas from each of our Spring Occupational Therapy Activities… because we’re loading you up on different ways to address developmental skill areas with a Spring-theme!

      Remember, if you are looking for fun ideas to incorporate into therapy sessions, at home, or in the classroom, our Spring Fine Motor Kit is on sale right now. It’s 100 pages of spring ideas for addressing sensory processing, gross and fine motor skills, visual motor skills, visual perceptual skills, handwriting, and more. The packet will last you all season long and can be used over and over again. 


      Grab the Spring Fine Motor Kit here. AND get the bonus Spring Break Kit, filled with handouts for Spring break activities, handwriting prompts, brain breaks, and a Spring homework sheet.

      Spring Gross Motor Activities


      Let’s get right to those Spring-themed Gross Motor Skills.

      Shoulder and wrist stability are such a necessary part of fine motor control and precision. You’ve probably seen it before; a kiddo that writes or colors with their arm “floating” up off the table surface.

      You probably know a child that writes with their whole arm as opposed to moving those fingers. You might recall a child manipulating small items like beads with their elbows smashed into their sides in order for them to have support and control…It’s all shoulder stability that is lacking!

      We’re also talking about core stability, postural control, and balance. You might know a student that slouches at their desk.

      What suffers? Handwriting legibility, reading comprehension, and the ability to copy materials without missing items.

       You may have seen a kiddo that is fearful on uneven surfaces like when maneuvering on bleachers, or struggles with active games in gym class. What may be the culprit to these coordination skills?
      It just might be postural control, core strength, and stability.

      The gross motor activities below provide opportunities to improve bilateral coordination, core strength as part of improving  postural stability, balance, coordination, shoulder stability, and shoulder girdle strengthening.
      The activities follow a Spring-theme to use this time of year. 


      These general activities combine movement combinations and motor planning that can be used as a fun brain break in the classroom, or a party game idea:


      Create a Bunny Hop Gross Motor Game much like our Dinosaur Gross Motor Game! Just make the activities actions like Hop like a bunny, jump like a bunny, stomp your bunny feet, etc. You can add other spring animals too, like a lamb, baby chicks, or robins.


      Make a DIY Dance Stick using ribbons, crepe paper, and string. Then, practice forming letters or writing spelling words with the dance stick. It can be decorated like a May Pole, too. Incorporate bilateral coordination and eye-hand coordination to wrap the stick with ribbon all the way up and around a dowel rod. 


      Bean Bag Activity- We made ice cream cones, but carrots would be super easy, too…or just pretend the bean bags are carrots 🙂  Here are some bean bag games to use when working on midline crossing, core strength, motor planning, and other gross motor areas.

       

      Build shoulder and wrist stability 

      Shoulder stability is an area that so many kids can struggle with! Writing with their arm “floating” up off the table surface, using the whole arm to manipulate and move a pencil, and other small motor actions. Sometimes, kids that do activities and tasks quickly are compensating for weakness in the shoulder girdle. 


      Use Wikki Stix to build Easter Eggs by sticking them to a wall. Position the child at a seated position facing the wall so shoulder flexion occurs at eye height. This is a great way to work on shoulder and wrist stability and mobility. 


      Use Spring cookie cutters and small pieces of chalk on a chalkboard or easel. This activity is great for drawing and writing at shoulder height and uses both hands at midline. Working at the vertical surface promote core strength as well as shoulder stability and wrist extension. Bunnies, Easter eggs. hearts, and colorful circles or rainbows are fun this time of year.


      Try Spring Yoga- There are some Yoga positions with a Spring theme described and listed in the Spring Occupational Therapy Activities Packet. Add fun animal names and positions to basic yoga positions.


      Use a scooter board in prone. Push and pull the scooter board across the floor to transport Spring items into a basket. The dollar store is a good place to find small items. Better yet, use bunny tongs or other tools to transport the items.


      Roll a small ball or a therapy ball up and down a wall. Use painters tape to make a ball maze or a strait line like the stem of a Spring flower. “Walk” the ball up the wall to shoulder height and then back down again. Get the ball to the top of the step to create the flower!


      Spring Animal Walks- Do the bunny hop, frog jump, and lamb crawl from one side of the room to the other. Think: wheelbarrow walks, crab walks, donkey kicks, and bear walks with a Spring theme!


      Color or play on the ground- Use Easter grass to create a sensory space on the floor. Use a large, low tray such as a jelly roll pan to create a sensory bin. Kids can use tongs to find hidden items such as mini-erasers.

      Spring Posture and Balance Activities

      Posture and trunk stability is essential for positioning in the classroom and in functional tasks in general. Postural control is needed to enable the student to sit upright at their desk, allowing for better handwriting, reading, and copying skills.

      Kids who struggle with postural control and balance will be uncoordinated in fine motor tasks, activities requiring sustained positioning, have trouble with motor planning, and may be fearful of tasks that require mobility or uneven positioning such as maneuvering on bleachers or during active play.


      Try some of the Spring themed gross motor activities below to improve postural control and balance:

      Spring Obstacle Course- Use the printables in our Spring Sensory Stations (free download) to create motor planning tasks that build balance and coordination. Add in jump ropes to hop over, sand buckets to navigate around, and brain breaks (from our Spring Break Kit bonus) to make gross motor planning tasks.

      Spring Heavy Work Activities- Add heavy work that challenges motor planning, balance, endurance, positioning changes, and motor skills. These can be used in Simon Says games, obstacle courses, and gross motor play. Print off a copy of these free Spring heavy work cards and get started.

      Spring Caterpillar Pose- Assume the “superman pose” on the floor, but call it a caterpillar pose! You can be a caterpillar in the Springtime, gaining strength to start crawling and munching on leaves. Relax rest but then return to the extended arms, legs, and head positioning as you wake up again! 


      Balloon Pass- Lie on your back and pull the hips and knees into flexion, toward the belly. Try to hold a ball or balloon between your feet. Then, pass the ball to a friend lying opposite on the floor. Pass the ball into a hoop or large basket. 


      Egg Pass- Sit on a partially inflated beach ball and try to balance a plastic egg on a spoon. Try to pass the egg to a friend and then drop it into a basket. 

      These spring gross motor activities are great ways to build strength in kids, including posture, stability, core strength, shoulder stability, and coordination, balance, and posture.

      Spring Fine Motor Kit

      Score Fine Motor Tools and resources and help kids build the skills they need to thrive!

      Developing hand strength, dexterity, dexterity, precision skills, and eye-hand coordination skills that kids need for holding and writing with a pencil, coloring, and manipulating small objects in every day task doesn’t need to be difficult. The Spring Fine Motor Kit includes 100 pages of fine motor activities, worksheets, crafts, and more:

      Spring fine motor kit set of printable fine motor skills worksheets for kids.
      • Lacing cards
      • Sensory bin cards
      • Hole punch activities
      • Pencil control worksheets
      • Play dough mats
      • Write the Room cards
      • Modified paper
      • Sticker activities
      • MUCH MORE

      Click here to add this resource set to your therapy toolbox.

      Spring Fine Motor Kit
      Spring Fine Motor Kit: TONS of resources and tools to build stronger hands.

      Grab your copy of the Spring Fine Motor Kit and build coordination, strength, and endurance in fun and creative activities. Click here to add this resource set to your therapy toolbox.

      Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

      Spring Occupational Therapy Activities

      Spring occupational therapy activities

      There might just be a turn in the weather! Spring therapy takes on a whole new meaning with these Spring occupational therapy activities! With a new season comes a new set of OT activities for the school-based occupational therapist or the OT working in early intervention or an outpatient clinic. I’m excited to share an update to our Spring Occupational Therapy packet that now has a TON of therapy tools and Spring activities to develop various skills like fine  motor, gross motor, visual perceptual, handwriting, sensory tolerance and play, and more.

      Use these Spring OT ideas in everyday play!

      If you are specifically looking for SPRING CRAFTS that support occupational therapy goals, we have that, too!

      Spring occupational therapy activities for helping kids develop skills, in school based OT, early intervention, and at home.


      Spring Occupational Therapy Activities

      Looking for fun ways to add a creative spin to therapy sessions this time of year? You’re in luck! This week on The OT Toolbox, you’ll find loads of Spring activities. Each day, we’re rounding up activities, ideas, strategies, and tips that all have a Spring theme in common. Use these activities in your therapy plans to meet the specific needs of kiddos. 

      You’ll find tons of activity ideas in our Spring Fine Motor Kit, too.

      Here’s what you can find when it comes to Spring Occupational Therapy activities here on The OT Toolbox:

      Spring Fine Motor Activities– Spring crafts, spring fine motor precision activities, sorting insects, mixing colors, and beading rainbows! These Spring fine motor activities develop hand strength, coordination, pincer grasp, and a functional pencil grasp!

      Spring Gross Motor Activities – Work on balance, coordination, core strength, and motor planning skills with these gross motor activities for Spring. Kids will love the therapy slide decks that challenge skills (great for pediatric physical therapy, too!)

      You’ll love the Spring balance beams, sequencing activities, and more (with shoulder stability, balance, coordination, and core strengthening activities at the focus!)

      Spring Sensory Activities– these Spring sensory play ideas include sensory bins and heavy work activities that are great for sensory diets. While you’re at it, be sure to grab these Spring OT tools:

      • Spring Sensory Stations– great for building a sensory walk with a Spring theme
      • Outdoor Sensory Diets– so much information about supporting sensory needs through being outdoors.
      • Sensory Garden– Create a sensory garden on a large scale or small scale to support sensory needs through gardening this Spring.

      Spring Visual Perception Activities– Use these Spring OT ideas to support visual perceptual skills like visual discrimination, visual closure, form constancy, figure ground, and other visual motor skills with a Spring theme.

      Spring Handwriting Activities– School based OTs will love these handwriting occupational therapy ideas to support legibility, functional pencil grasp, writing on lines, and letter formation.

      So, be sure to check out each link above to load up on creative ways to promote healthy development of kids!

      Use these Spring Occupational Therapy activities to promote skills like fine motor work, gross motor skills, bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, and more, all with a spring theme!

       

      Working on occupatioanl therapy goals? Here are OT activities designed to use a spring theme for fine motor skills, gross motor skills, handwriting, visual motor skills, sensory processing, bilateral coordination, and more.



      There’s more…
      This time of year, one of our more popular products here on The OT Toolbox is our Spring Fine Motor Kit!

      Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

      Indoor Ice Skating Activity for Gross Motor Skills

      indoor ice skating activity

      This indoor ice skating activity is an older blog post on The OT Toolbox, but the gross motor benefits are perfect for today! Did you know you can use an indoor balance and coordination activity like paper plate ice skating (and the inside skating task below) to challenge and integrate proprioceptive input, vestibular sensory input, and work on various gross motor skills.

      Use this indoor ice skating activity to challenge gross motor skills, balance, endurance, and add sensory input.

      Indoor Ice Skating Activity

      Sometimes, you come across a play activity that provides many skill areas and is just plain old fun.  These indoor ice skates proprioception and vestibular activity is one of those.  

      A few years ago, we shared a bunch of winter sensory integration activities.  This is on of those movement sensory ideas (that we’re just getting around to sharing this year!)

      With this indoor ice skating activity, you can play indoors AND incorporate proprioceptive input, vestibular input, crossing midline, visual scanning, motor planning, among other therapy areas…all with play.  


      Add these resources to the ones you can find here under sensory diet vestibular activities to meet the sensory needs of all kids. 

      This is a great indoor therapy activity for challenging balance and endurance.

      • Ask kids to follow a specific path to work on memory, sequencing, and motor planning.
      • Ask the child to move the indoor skates along a straight line and then bend and stoop to retrieve objects.
      • Incorporate the indoor skating activity into an Olympics therapy theme.
      • Use the indoor skates to move in circles, curved lines, and move as a real ice skater.
      • Ask the skater to carry objects from one point to another.

      In this skating activity, kids are really challenging strength and balance. The carpeted surface is a slick and slippery surface when sliding with a non-resistant surface when sliding on a paper plate, wax paper, or cardboard. TO slide, you need to move the legs along without lifting along the carpet, using core strength to maintain balance.  

      To move the feet, kids need to engage muscles of the core help maintain balance without falling or sliding.  

      Indoor Ice Skates proprioception and vestibular sensory play activity

      Tissue Box Ice Skates

      This is an activity that I remember doing as a kid.  When the weather is too cold or icy to get outdoors, adding any vestibular or proprioception input can be just what the child with sensory needs craves.

      To make your own indoor ice skating activity, all you need is a couple of cardboard tissue boxes and a carpeted floor.

      If you don’t have tissue boxes, you can use other materials to make indoor ice skates. Or, try some of these ideas. The options are limitless:

      • Tissue boxes
      • Cereal box cut in half
      • Paper plates
      • Styrofoam plates
      • Two pieces of wax paper
      • Pieces of cardboard delivery box
      • 2 plastic frisbees
      • Padded delivery envelopes (think Amazon delivery pouches)
      • Any cardboard box!

      Depending on the material and the user’s motor skills, you may need to strap the cardboard pieces onto shoes with pieces of tape. Other users can slide their feet to move the materials along carpeted surface by sliding their feet.

      There are many skills that are developed with this indoor ice skating activity. Let’s cover those therapy skill areas:

      Indoor ice skates with cardboard boxes add proprioception and vestibular sensory play.
      Use cardboard boxes to make a pair of indoor “ice skates” that work on a carpet.

      Indoor Ice Skating and proprioception

      Use empty tissue boxes to create ice skate “boots”.  Moving the feet along the carpet requires heavy work, coordination, balance, and awareness of position in space.

      Incorporate proprioceptive input by using a blanket and pull your child around a carpeted area.  Ask them to squat down to a skater’s ready position as you pull them, too.


      Try skating with the tissue boxes as an adult pulls the child along with a blanket or towel.  Play tug of war with the blanket, too.

      Read more about proprioception activities and how they impact functional skills.

      Indoor Ice skating and Vestibular Sensory

      A child can work on vestibular input by skating fast from one target to another. Encourage them to position themselves in different ways as they skate around a carpeted room.  

      This activity works on crossing midline as the child “skis”.  Sometimes you might see children with vestibular difficulties who have difficulty determining proper motor planning in activities.  They might have trouble crossing midline in functional tasks as well as difficulties with reading and writing.  


      A movement activity that challenges the body’s position in space like this one can help with these problem areas.

      Read more about vestibular sensory activities and how these therapy tasks impact functional skills.

      More Winter activities to use in occupational therapy

      Add this indoor ice skating activity to these other winter ideas for occupational therapy sessions or home programming:

      Snowman Therapy Activity Kit
      Snowman Therapy Kit

      This print-and-go snowman-themed therapy kit includes no-prep fine motor, gross motor, sensory, visual processing, handwriting, self-regulation, and scissor skill activities to help kids develop essential skills. Includes everything you need for therapy tasks, home therapy sessions, and movement-based learning.

      Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

      Winter Brain Breaks

      winter brain breaks

      Need Winter Brain Breaks for the kids? Here, you will find energizing brain breaks are gross motor activities that can break up the school day or be added to the classroom schedule. Mix some of these movement breaks into the classroom to help kids focus and stay on task while getting a chance to get a short mental break from the class schedule. With more online time and increased screen time than ever before, and the added piece of wintery weather, brain breaks are needed more now than ever.

      winter brain breaks

      Winter Brain Breaks

      I love that these movement breaks can give kids a chance to weave activity right into learning. Whether you are looking for stretches or specifics like activities that fit your curriculum, most of these brain break ideas can be modified to meet your classroom needs!

      For more winter activities, try using these ideas to help kids develop specific skill areas:


      Winter Fine Motor Activities – Use winter crafts, activities, snowflake crafts, and even paper icicles to work on fine motor skill work.

      Indoor Recess Activities– These indoor recess activities get kids moving when it’s too cold to go outside.

      Winter Bilateral Coordination Activities get kids moving with both sides of the body.

      Winter Mindfulness Activities help to focus and attend to the task at hand, as well as help with coping needs.

      And, you’ll want to check out our new Winter Fine Motor Kit. It’s an amazing resource of 100 pages designed to help kids move and build the skills they need. While focused on the fine motor aspect, this kit includes play dough mats, toothpick art, lacing cards, crumble art, I Spy pages, and more, all which can be used in indoor brain break types of activities.

      Now, on to the winter brain breaks! Check out these Winter Brain Breaks for movement-based activity in the clinic, classroom, virtual therapy session, or home!


      1. Build a snowman- This winter brain break requires imagination and some large motor skills! Students may need verbal cues and maybe a visual model when first doing this snowman brain break. Here’s what  Pretend to roll a ball of snow. Then another big snowball. Ask students to place their pretend snowballs on the first one to build the snowman. Next, pick up a carrot and some “rocks” from the ground. Press them into the snowman’s head. Next, look on the “ground” to find some sticks for arms. Press them into the sides of the sides of the snowman. Add any additional details like a scarf, hat, or boots. 

      2. Winter Toothpick Art– Use the Winter Fine Motor Kit materials to get kids moving with the toothpick art activities. These can be used on cardboard or a carpeted area to help kids build fine motor strength and tripod grasp.

      3. Penguin Freeze Dance- This winter brain break activity is a great addition to an arctic theme in the classroom! Take 5 minutes to move and groove, penguin-style! Turn on some music and the students can waddle like penguins! Then suddenly stop the music and all of the classroom penguins need to FREEZE! Play for about 5 minutes and then get back to learning.


      4. Dice Roll- Write numbers 1-6 on the chalkboard. Assign each number to an action movement like hop up and down, touch the ground, stand on one leg, do a funny dance, jumping jacks, etc. Then roll the dice and everyone needs to do the action. Keep rolling and moving for 3-5 minutes. Some more action ideas include: turn in two circles, do a burpee, do a push-up, and sit on the floor then stand up very quickly.

      5. Winter Crumble Art- This is another fun fine motor activity for indoor recess. Use bits of tissue paper or crumbled up construction paper to create a winter picture. These sheets are in the Winter Fine Motor Kit, too.


      6. Winter Yoga- Add movement breaks to the classroom with some calming yoga moves. Winter themed yoga stretches can be a nice break in the classroom schedule when it’s too cold to go outdoors.

      7. Winter Play Dough Mats– While not a traditional brain break, the winter play dough mats in our new Winter Fine Motor Kit allow kids a chance to move and gain essential proprioceptive input through their hands.

      8. Snowman Says- Play a quick game of Simon Says with a snowman theme! Imagine you are part of a classroom full of snowmen who are moving their snowman parts. Use your imagination and stretch, move, and move that snow body!


      9. Polar Bear Brain Breaks- This polar bear gross motor slide deck is wintery fun! We’ve shared a bear brain breaks free printable sheet here on The OT Toolbox. Use it with a polar bear theme! Hint: Do the same brain break activities and call it a polar bear move 🙂


      10. Winter Brain Break YouTube Videos- There are some great break break ideas that are movement and activity videos on YouTube to get the kids up and moving so they are ready to learn. The YouTube brain break videos add movement and gross motor work. The ones listed below are winter themed. 

      Winter Brain Breaks on YouTube


      Baby Shark, Winter Edition:

      Penguin Dance Brain Break: 

       

        The Sid Shuffle- Ice Age Continental Drift:

        Small Foot- Do the Yeti:  

      I’m a Penguin- Brain Break for Kindergarten:  

      Add winter brain break ideas to the classroom to add movement breaks so kids can learn and focus with better attention, all with a winter theme!

      Need more Brain Break Resources? 

      Follow our Brain Break Pinterest board.


      Here are more brain break videos (not winter-themed), but great for any time of year.


      Check out our past brain break activities here on The OT Toolbox and add them to your toolbox:



      I hope these ideas are helpful in creating opportunities for movement and activity during these indoor recess months at school! 

      winter fine motor kit

      WINTER FINE MOTOR WORKSHEETS

      To end out the Winter Week here on The OT Toolbox, I wanted to create a fine motor worksheets that are a true resource during the winter months. The Winter Fine Motor Kit contains fine motor worksheets that cover a variety of different fine motor abilities:  

      These reproducible activity pages include: pencil control strips, scissor skills strips, simple and complex cutting shapes, lacing cards, toothpick precision art, crumble hand strengthening crafts, memory cards, coloring activities, and so much more.

      Play Dough Roll Mats- We’ve shared some free play dough mats before. They are perfect for developing fine motor skills and hand strength needed for tasks like coloring with endurance, manipulating small items, and holding a pencil. Kids can roll small balls of play dough with just their fingertips to strengthen the intrinsic muscles. The Winter Fine Motor Kit contains 6 winter play dough mats that can be used all winter long!  

      Pinch and Grip Strength Activities- Includes: glue skills page, tong/tweezer activities, lacing cards, finger puppets, 1-10 counting clip cards, 10 toothpick art pages, find & color page, 5 crumble art pages. TARGET SKILLS: Precision, pinch and grip hand strength, tripod grasp, arch development, bilateral coordination, open thumb web-space.

      Pencil Control Worksheets- Connect the arctic animals or winter items and stay on the pencil path lines while mastering pencil control. Some of the lines are small and are a great way to strengthen the hands, too.  

      Arctic Animal Cutting Strips and Scissor Skills Sheets- Work on scissor skills to cut along lines to reach the arctic animal friends or snowflakes, snowmen, and mittens. This is a great way to strengthen the motor and visual skills needed for cutting with scissors.   Also included are 7 scissor skills strips with graded precision designed for data collection and accuracy development, 2 color & cut memory cards, 4 pages simple cutting shapes in small/med/large sizes, 3 pages complex cutting shapes in small/med/large sizes, 2 small and 2 large cutting skills puzzles. These worksheets help kids develop graded scissor skill accuracy and precision, visual perceptual skills, eye-hand coordination, crossing midline, bilateral coordination.

      Handwriting Sensory Bin Materials- You and the kiddos will love these A-Z uppercase and lowercase tracing cards with directional arrows, 1-10 tracing cards with directional arrows, 1-10 counting cards. Using the sensory bin materials can develop tactile handwriting, letter and number formation, finger isolation, crossing midline, sensory challenges. These materials in the Winter Fine Motor Kit are a great brain break idea for kids.

      “I Spy” Modified Paper- Includes: Color and find objects in two themes: winter items and arctic animals; 3 styles of modified paper for each theme: single rule bold lines, double rule bold lines, highlighted double rule. Use these pages to develop handwriting, pencil control, line and spatial awareness, legibility, visual perceptual skills, visual memory.

      Fine Motor Handwriting Sheets- Try the 4 Find/Color/Copy pages in different styles of modified paper, rainbow writing pages in 3 styles of modified paper. These handwriting worksheets use the winter theme to help with handwriting, visual perception, pencil control, visual memory, visual attention, precision, pencil control, functional handwriting.

      Write the Room Activities- Using a winter theme, these Write the Room cards includes: 5 lowercase copy cards, 5 uppercase copy cards, 5 lowercase tracing cards, 5 uppercase copy cards, 6 cursive writing copy cards, 2 styles of writing pages. TARGET SKILLS: Letter formation, pencil control, visual motor skills, visual attention, visual memory, line placement, functional handwriting at all levels and stages.

      All of this is available in the Winter Fine Motor Kit.

      Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

      Gross Motor Toys

      Gross motor toys

      If you are looking for the best gross motor toys to challenge coordination, balance, motor planning through whole-body movement and heavy work play, then you are in luck!

      We started off the fun with yesterday’s fine motor toy ideas. Today is all about the gross motor play.

      First, let’s talk Gross Motor Toys!

      Gross Motor Toys

      Kids need gross motor movement for so many skills. Today, I have gross motor toys to share! Here, you’ll find the best whole body toys and ideas to help kids with balance, core strength, stability, coordination, and endurance. Scroll on to check out some therapist-approved toys that help gross motor skill development!

      Gross motor toys to help kids develop skills in running, hopping, jumping, skipping, crawling, and more.

      Gross Motor Toy Ideas

      This list of toys for gross motor skills pairs well with our recent list of Fine Motor Toys. Today however, you’ll find toys that develop a few areas that are essential to areas of child development:

      Bilateral Coordination– Kids need bilateral coordination in whole body movements to move their body in a coordinated way. These whole body movements can include coordination of the upper and lower body, or both arms, or both feet, and all of the above! Here are bilateral coordination toys to address this specific area.

      Motor Planning– Motor planning with the whole body allows children to move in a room without crashing into objects or other people. Gross motor motor planning allows children to climb steps, navigate obstacles, or any movement-based task. Here is more information on motor planning and motor planning toys to address this specific sub-area.

      Gross motor coordinationCoordination of gross motor skills is needed for tasks such as kicking or catching a ball, riding a bike, getting dressed, or any task that uses the entire body. Here are hand eye coordination toys to address this particular sub-area.

      Proprioception– Integration of proprioceptive input allows children to know where their body is in space. It tells the body how much effort is needed to pick up and move objects. Proprioception allows us to understand the body’s position as it moves in a coordinated manner.

      Vestibular input- Integration of vestibular input allows children to navigate the world around them as they move. Going up or down steps or bleachers is an example of this. Moving into different positions during tasks is another example of vestibular integration. Movement through different planes requires integration of vestibular input.

      All of these areas work together in functional tasks and all are rooted in gross motor skills.

      Related: This dinosaur gross motor game is a skill builder, as well.

      Toys for Gross Motor Skill Development

      So often, therapists and teachers purchase items to use in their work using their own money. This giveaway offers a chance for you to win an item that will be useful in helping kids thrive.

      And, given that kids are on screens more than ever before with all of the virtual learning and hybrid learning models being incorporated all over the world, therapists are seeing more need for active, physical play.

      These are gross motor toys that you will find in therapy clinics. There is a reason why…because they are gross motor powerhouses! So, if you are looking for toy recommendations that build whole body motor skills, this is it!

      Amazon affiliate links are included below. You can read more about these items by checking out the links.

      Zoom ball is a great gross motor toy for kids.

      Zoom Ball– This classic toy is such a great way to work on many skills. A zoom ball can be used in different positions to challenge balance and vestibular input: Try using the zoom ball in sitting, standing, kneeling, standing on couch cushions, a slant…again, the options are limitless! Address skills such as:

      • Bilateral coordination
      • Core strength
      • Shoulder stability
      • Visual convergence
      • Motor planning
      • Coordination
      Pop and catch toys can help kids develop gross motor skills.

      Pop and Catch- Use this coordination toy indoors or outdoors to get kids moving. This toy can be played with while the child is standing, sitting, kneeling, or in a half-sit to challenge the core and eye-hand coordination in a variety of planes. Try playing on all fours on the floor for a shoulder girdle stability activity. Another use for this toy is by playing by standing at a table while the child shoots the ball across the table surface as they play like a ping-pong type of game. There are many uses for this pop and catch activity:

      • Eye-hand coordination
      • Motor planning
      • Vestibular input
      • Core strength
      • Stability of core
      • Stability of shoulder girdle
      use bucket stilts to help kids develop gross motor skills.

      Bucket Stilts– These bucket stilts are perfect for helping kids develop gross motor skills. I love this set because there are 6 colored buckets that make a great gross motor obstacle course tool, too. You could use them as stepping stones to challenge balance and coordination, too. Here are gross motor skills that you can work on using these bucket stilts toys:

      • Core strength
      • Vestibular input
      • Motor planning
      • Coordination
      • Balance
      • Endurance
      • Stabilizing
      use agility cones to help kids build gross motor skills in obstacle courses and more.

      Agility Cones– Sports cones are such an open-ended gross motor toy that can be used to develop so many skills: hopping, jumping, skipping, running, climbing, crawling…the options are endless. Use these agility cones in obstacle courses, challenges, drills, and more. I chose these particular cones because they can go very nicely with a Zones of Regulation activity! Use cones to support these areas:

      • Motor planning
      • Vestibular input
      • Coordination
      • Core strength
      • Endurance
      Use carpet markers to build gross motor skills with gross motor obstacle courses, motor planning, and more.

      Carpet Markers– These carpet markers are an occupational therapist’s dream toy! Use the colored marker spots to help kids work on so many movement skills in obstacle courses, visual perceptual skill activities, direction following, sensory movement breaks, positioning guides, and so much more. The arrows are perfect for addressing directionality. Use them to work on crawling, hopping, jumping, stopping on a point. Just some of the areas that these carpet spots support:

      • Core strength
      • Shoulder stability
      • Motor planning
      • Coordination
      • Endurance
      • Proprioception
      A parachute is a great gross motor toy for kids.

      Parachute– A parachute is another open-ended gross motor toy that the kids just LOVE. This one is small enough for small groups, but builds motor skills in a big way. Use the parachute to help kids develop:

      • Core stability
      • Arm strength
      • Motor planning
      • Endurance
      • Bilateral coordination
      • Proprioceptive input

      Toys for Core Strength

      Toys that develop core strength get kids moving in a variety of positions. These toys support and challenge the vestibular and proprioceptive systems so they can be calming activities as well. Strength and stability in the core is needed for almost all functional tasks. Challenge kids with these core strengthening toys by getting them moving, on the floor in floor play or strengthening the core muscles through movement and balance coordination. Some ideas for developing and strengthening core strength include:

      Toys for balance

      Toys that challenge movement changes, stepping from high to low and low to high, and movement with vestibular input offer opportunities to challenge and develop balance and coordination skills.

      Gross Motor Coordination Toys

      Encourage movement, whole body play, and gross motor coordination with throwing, tossing, and hand-eye coordination or foot-eye coordination skills with these gross motor coordination ideas:

      Obstacle Course Toys

      All of the gross motor toys listed above could be used in obstacle courses…and what a great way to encourage so many skills! These are perfect additions to your obstacle course ideas, and challenge balance, coordination, motor planning, and add sensory input. Use these obstacle course toys to vary movement and encourage the specific skills kids need:

      Want to add these toys to your home, classroom, or therapy practice? I am SO happy to fill your toolbox so you can help kids thrive and build and develop the skills they need!

      More therapy Toys

      Check out the other therapy toy recommendations in the list below:

      1. Fine Motor Toys
      2. Gross Motor Toys
      3. Pencil Grasp Toys
      4. Toys for Reluctant Writers
      5. Toys for Spatial Awareness
      6. Toys for Visual Tracking
      7. Toys for Sensory Play
      8. Bilateral Coordination Toys
      9. Games for Executive Functioning Skills
      10. Toys and Tools to Improve Visual Perception 
      11. Toys to Help with Scissors Skills 
      12. Toys for Attention and Focus 

      Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

      Check out the blog comments below to see tips and ideas from readers telling us which gross motor toys they would love to use with the kids they work with and love. Have other gross motor favorites that aren’t listed here? Tell us about them!