10 Gross Motor Activity Ideas Using Common Household Items - The Autism Helper

10 Gross Motor Activity Ideas Using Common Household Items

Categories: Resources

A few weeks ago, I highlighted some easy fine motor activities you can do with common household materials.  Check out that post here.   I thought it would be fun today to share some easy gross motor activities you can do using items you probably already have in your home.  Please be sure to safely supervise children when engaging in activities!

1. Skating on Paper Plates

  • What you need: Paper plates.
  • What to do: Put one paper plate under each foot.  Slide forward as if you were ice skating!

2. Ball Toss

  • What you need: Buckets, laundry basket, ball (if you don’t have a ball, used rolled up socks).
  • What to do: Set the buckets and basket up in different ways and have the child toss the ball in from different distances and positions.

3. Stomp on Bubble Wrap

  • What you need: Bubble wrap, tape.
  • What to do: Tape bubble wrap on the floor and have your child stomp on it to make it pop!  You can do a whole variety of gross motor moves here, including jumping with 2 feet, jumping on one foot, or even crawling over it. Take your child’s socks off for an added sensory experience.

4. Painter’s Tape Paths

  • What you need: Painter’s tape.
  • What to do: Use blue painter’s tape to make a variety of paths for kids to balance on!  You can try straight lines, zig zag lines, or my favorite – a figure 8 !

5. Under the Bridge

  • What you need: Toy cars or trains.
  • What to do: Have your child lay on his back.  Start driving some toy cars and ask your child to ‘raise the bridge’ to let the cars through!  This is SO awesome for core strength and is very motivating for kids to do!

6. Make a Chair Tunnel

  • What you need: Chairs.
  • What to do: Line up your chairs in a row to make a tunnel for kids to crawl through!  Crawling is such an important developmental skill which is why tunnels are usually a staple in any obstacle course we make at school.  At home, you may not have a tunnel – so try lining up chairs instead!

7. Stacking Cups

  • What you need: Cups.
  • What to do: This is just as simple as it seems- stack up the cups! Not only is this great for hand/eye coordination, you can also work on gross motor skills!  Work in tall kneeling or half kneeling to make a large tower, work on single leg balance by kicking over the cups once stacked.  Practice jumping over a row of the cups.

8. Balloon Taps

  • What you need: Balloons.
  • What to do: Blow up the balloons and have fun!  There are so many things you can do with balloons – tap them to yourself, tap them to a partner, try to balance them on a part of your body like your head, arm or stand on one leg and try to balance it on the other foot!

9. Standing on Pillows

  • What you need: Pillows.
  • What to do: Standing on a pillow is an awesome way to challenge a child’s balance!  Line up some pillows and have kids walk from one to the other, challenging them to try not to fall off onto the floor.  

10. Glow Stick Dance Party

  • What you need: Glowsticks, tape, music.
  • What to do: I have seen creative friends of mine doing this and sharing all over my social media lately!  Simply tape glowsticks on your child’s clothes, turn off the lights and turn on some fun music!  It’s a dance party with a fun twist!

Have fun!  Drop a comment and share your ideas too!

This blog is for informational purposes only.  Please supervise children appropriately. Please contact your OT for specific recommendations.  

Katie McKenna, MS, OTR/L
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