Gross motor activities Gross motor skills involves the large muscles of the body that performs such functions as walking, kicking climbing stairs and sitting upright. A child’s gross motor strengths depend mainly on muscle tone and strength. Low muscle tone is often seen in special needs children, and is a major factor in developmental delays.

Gross motor ability is critical for life skills
The large muscle groups, are for major body movements such as walking, balancing, co-ordination and jumping. Gross motor abilities are essential for all physical functions. If your child cannot support his upper body, he will have difficulty with writing, sitting up straight and writing on a blackboard. This inturn could lead to other problems with his fine motor skills.

Gross motor weakness
If you think that your child has gross motor weakness, discuss this with his teacher. She will give you feed back on your child’s actions on the playground and in the classroom. If she shares your concerns you will have to get your child evaluated by a physical and/or occupational therapist. This will determine how severe the problem is and what course should be taken to improve your child’s large muscle skills.


Gross Motor activities Always encourage and motivate your child with plenty of positive feedback and praise for his efforts, especially when he has mastered a skill. We all need to improve our weaknesses to an acceptable standard, compensate where we have to, and enjoy our strengths and talents.

No one is good at everything. When you have a special needs child, it is important to find the right stimulating activities to help your child develop an area that he has potential in. Do not over stimulate your child or force them to do activities that they do not enjoy. This is counter productive and will demotivate you and your child.

Have fun, fun and then some more fun!!!
Learning and practising skills without even knowing it, is what it's all about.

The following are some activities for your child to develop gross motor skills. You can adapt them to his abilities and expand on them as your child gets older:

  • Play with a large ball (Yoga ball), encouraging your child to kick the ball, alternatively using different feet. Throwing and catching is also fun.
  • Dancing, either freestyle or through songs with movements, like 'I'm a little tea pot'
  • Walk around the garden or park, for variety add in jogging, marching, skipping or hopping.
  • Swimming and other water play.
  • Balancing - let your child walk on a piece of string or tape, a low balance beam or wall.
  • Play pretend - your child will boost their gross motor skills by pretending to waddle like a duck, gallop like a horse or soar like a plane - Wherever their imagination takes them.
  • Riding tri-cycles and scooters, pulling wagons or pushing large trucks or trolleys.
  • Build and navigate obstacle courses - you can use furniture, pillows, boxes blankets etc.
  • Throwing, catching and rolling large therapy balls.
  • Playing catchers or other classical back yard games such as follow the leader and Simon says.
  • Swinging, climbing or sliding on playground equipment.

If you're looking for something specific, here's your chance to go searching... The Web The special needs child

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Gross Motor Skills

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Occupational Therapy/ Physical Therapy/ Speech Therapy/
Fine motor skills/ Sensory integration/ Low muscle tone

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