Gross Motor Fluency {Video Tutorial}

Are you looking for a program that will get your kiddo moving quickly and enjoying the instructional time? Can he/she imitate simple movements modeled by another person, but may take a while to do so? Like sitting down waaay after the whole group does? Or having a hard time keeping up during gym? If so, a gross motor fluency program is a good way to reduce that response time and get your kiddo moving!

Things you’ll need

1) Your Gross List! : This is for the instructor. Make a list of all the motions you know your kiddo can successfully imitate. Start with a list of actions when seated (e.g., clap hands, arms up, arms down, chicken dance, hands on cheek, touch nose, hands on head, hands on ears, etc.). Aim for a list of at least 20 that you can shuffle around during the instruction time. Also, try to select moves that are easy to execute and are all in the same area of the body. Review this list immediately before starting your session so you have an idea of which combination of movement’s you’re gonna do.

Gross Motor 3

2) Timer : A key component to any fluency program is the use of timed sessions (often referred to as a ‘timing’). You usually want to keep timings short (e.g., 15 seconds) and keep the time constant. That way you can do multiple timings within the general instructional time and multiple fluency programs can be combined. How fun!


NB: Once the student is performing proficiently on a specific fluency program, you can conduct an extended timing to test for their endurance, just to see if they can do it for a long period of time. 😉

3) Data Sheet : You wanna make sure that you are tracking how many actions your kiddo imitates correctly during each timing. That way you can monitor his/her progress and see whether or not they are improving. You can even put these data on a line graph and see for yourself if there is an overall increase in the number of corrects over time. If there is no significant change, this simply means you may need to adjust the program a bit. If there is a significant increase in corrects, but the student seems to be performing at the highest point they seem to be able to go (hitting that high number consistently across days), then it may mean its time move to a next program (e.g., movements while standing, using legs and arms, etc.).

4) Clicker! : During a timing, it may be a challenge for the instructor to keep track of what movement is being done correctly/incorrectly while going through a series of moves within a short time. As such, a clicker is an awesome tool! Simply hold the clicker in one hand while going through the motions, and click whenever the student imitates correctly. At the end of the session, check your clicker for the total corrects :). See counters on Amazon here.


5)        Reinforcers, Reinforcers, Reinforcers! : Be sure to do that brief preference assessment if you haven’t done so in a while (see previous blog on preference assessments). Deliver those reinforcers at the end of each session once the student correctly imitates at least one movement. Tip: It’s best to use edible reinforcers that can be consumed within seconds. Try not to use gestures such as High-fives, tickles or claps for praise as reinforcers here. This can be confusing for the student!

Here’s a short video that illustrates how this program looks. Enjoy! 🙂










  1. I love this idea! I have a student who is not able to do any gross motor imitation without prompting. I’ve been working with him for 2 years with no success. Can you offer any suggestions on how I could work with this child? He does have gross motor abilities…he jumps, shoots baskets, runs, etc. He just can’t seem to imitate, so I wonder what I can do differently. Thanks!

  2. I would work on very basic motor imitation (ie. clap hands, touch head, etc) in a discrete trial training format. Every time he does it correctly on his own – give a big reinforcer and provide physical prompt (and then fade prompts) when he doesn’t do it. Hope this helps!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *