October 28

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Games to Get Your Kids Moving – All Ages

As an Occupational Therapist, I love when I see kids being active in their play.

Crawling, walking, jumping, skipping, or running, will put a child right on track to develop their motor skills. Motor development is the physical strengthening of the bones in a child's body, an essential key to overall development.  

You have probably heard the term gross motor skills. Whether or not your baby holds up his head, crawls, walks, and begins to explore is entirely dependent on the development of their gross motor skills.

When they enter their childhood years, their muscles must continue to grow both for physical development, but they also play a key role in helping with growth in cognitive and social development.

Being sure that a child can keep up with their average age group physically ensures that they hit their markers amongst their peers socially, as they interact with play, and cognitively, as they engage in learning and experience. 

As a parent, it is actually quite simple to improve motor development through incorporating physical activity and movement into your child's day. The games below will excite kids of all ages to get moving.

Our Top Picks

0-1 Years

Crawling Toys

Wiggle and Crawl Ball

The goal for your baby is to get him/her crawling. Encouraging your little one to be active is key to their development. We all need a little motivation, and your baby will love zooming across the room chasing some of their favorite toys. I recommend a Wiggle and Crawl Ball, like the one linked here.. The interactive ball will wiggle and sing, engaging your child to move along.

Crawling Toys

Pull Back Cars

The goal for your baby is to get him/her crawling. Encouraging your little one to be active is key to their development. We all need a little motivation, and your baby will love zooming across the room chasing some of their favorite toys. I recommend a Wiggle and Crawl Ball, like the one linked here.. The interactive ball will wiggle and sing, engaging your child to move along.

Age 1

Push Toys

Alligator Push Toy

Sturdy push toys are a great way to encourage walking, especially as your baby transitions from hands and knees to their feet. I like finding toys that cater to a specific child, such as the Little Tikes shopping cart or the car, making them excited to use it and move it.

Push Toys

Shopping Cart Push Toy

Just like the one above, this push toy is about moving and getting the child to start walking and having fun while doing so.

Push Toys

Cart Push Toy

This is more for a child to sit on, but can also be used as a push toy as the child starts to move the toy from place to place.

Age 2

Balance Toys

Balance Bike - Radio Flyer

I have watched many little kids zip around in the Radio Flyer Balance Bike. The bike builds valuable motor skills and improves balance. Balance is the ability to maintain a controlled body position during task performance. Engagement in any age-appropriate sport helps a child learn about his/ her body and succeed in fluid body movement. On a bike, kids need to make postural adjustments to maintain balance, and this development will aid their posture for tabletop tasks and fine motor skills. I also recommend taking advantage of the outdoors when it is time for this activity. In good weather, outdoor play is an essential tool in motor development, giving your kids plenty of space to run and play.

Age 3

Mind and Body Toys

Yoga Matching Game

I have watched many little kids zip around in the Radio Flyer Balance Bike. The bike builds valuable motor skills and improves balance. Balance is the ability to maintain a controlled body position during task performance. Engagement in any age-appropriate sport helps a child learn about his/ her body and succeed in fluid body movement. On a bike, kids need to make postural adjustments to maintain balance, and this development will aid their posture for tabletop tasks and fine motor skills. I also recommend taking advantage of the outdoors when it is time for this activity. In good weather, outdoor play is an essential tool in motor development, giving your kids plenty of space to run and play.

Age 4

Visual Motor Skills

Elefun

This game is a fun way to work on visual motor skills. Join the elephant in the fun as you catch the falling butterflies from his net! Your kids will be running in all directions as they try to catch the most butterflies. Introduce some math to your little ones with counting the colorful butterflies as they catch them in their nets.

Age 5

Balance, Coordination, Perceptual Skills

Pancake Pile Up

Get ready to flip those pancakes in  this fun relay race. This educational game pairs sequencing with some tasty eats as your child races back and forth. The race is designed to develop gross motor skills, balance, coordination and visual perceptual skills as your child collects the proper pancake on his / her spatula and is on the move without letting his/ her confections topple.

Age 6

Gross Motor Skills

Twister

This classic game is a perfect opportunity to have some fun and build those gross motor skills. In addition to getting your kids moving, this game will strengthen their core muscles, improve motor planning, and a most important skill- learning to differentiate between the right and left body parts.

Age 7

Strength and Balance

Twister

The Floor is Lava is a creative motor movement game, testing the imagination and body. This game is guaranteed to get your child jumping and leaping, improving his/ her strength and balance. As your child rushes to get to safety on one of the multi-colored stepping stones, he/ she must follow instructions, learning about their bodies through movement as they play the game.

Age 8

Strength and Balance

Twister

Zoom Ball-This popular action game is great for pairs. As they zoom the zipper ball back and forth, your child is actually building valuable upper and core strength. The motion targets the muscles of the arms and shoulders, which are essential for both body awareness and writing. It also has a great side benefit as it works on socialization and impulse control. The child must take cues from their partner and wait until the ball gets back to them to initiate their turn.


Tags

Crawling, Infant Development, Occupational Therapy, Preschool Age Children, Proprioceptive Input, Sensory Regulation, Tactile Input


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