Gross Motor Activities and Games

We have talked about fine motor skills, so now let’s talk gross motor skills.

child catching a balloon, child racing dad by crawling, child jumping on couch

What exactly are gross motor skills?

Gross motor skills are larger movements that involve the larger limbs of the body as well as the whole body. Gross motor skills are important for your toddler to fully develop the body in preparation for school and an active lifestyle.

Some examples of gross motor skills are:

  • Sitting up
  • Crawling
  • Walking up stairs
  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Swimming
  • Throwing
  • Catching
  • Kicking
  • Carrying toys

There are so many ways to encourage development of gross motor skills. You can work on the tasks in the list above specifically, but there are fun activities that also help your little one with their gross motor development as well.

shape jump

Materials needed:

  • Paper (change up the activity with colored paper, old newspaper, or even everyday objects that represent shapes)
  • Scissors

Cut out different shapes and have the child jump, walk, crawl to the shape you call out. Works on motor skills and shapes in a fun way!

balloon toss

Take a deep breath and blow up a balloon! Simply throwing and catching a balloon works on gross motor skills.

maze ball


Cut a cardboard box that can be propped up on the sides. If you have seen a box filled with reams of paper, picture the lid. Cut a hole in one corner of the flat side and a second hole diagonally. 


Place a bouncy ball underneath the box. Have the child move the box around to try and get the bouncy ball out from the box. 


Use paper towel rolls to make tunnels into or out of the box.

kick the cup

This one works gross motor skills but is also a learning activity. 


  • Plastic cups 
  • Small ball
  • Permanent marker


Write shapes, numbers, sight words, letters, etc on the outside of the cups. Place the cups around the room. 


Have your little ones kick a ball towards the plastic cups. Once they kick over a cup with the ball they can work to identify what is written on it.

the floor is lava

Game time! This is an oldie but goodie and works multiple gross motor skills.

Object of the game:

Avoid touching the floor! The floor is hot lava.  Seems simple but children use problem solving skills to see how to move from one place to the next without touching the lava. Throw pillows on the floor so they can jump, hop, crawl around and avoid the floor. 

crawl races

This provides a little competition and is great for every age. Little ones can work on crawling while older children have fun interacting in a fun way. Simply encourage a crawl race across the room! Modify to hopping as kids get older. 

Gross motor development skills work with fine motor development skills to develop coordination, but it is important to focus on development of each separately. With these fun activities, you can focus on developing your child’s gross motor skills.

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My name is Nicole and I am so glad you are here! I have always loved photography and have taken classes. Then I started my teacher journey and fell in love with creating resources for what I needed in the classroom. Now I have combined both of my passions to bring you spectacular resources!