Category Archives: Gross Motor

Core Strengthening Activities

Here are some suggestions for activities that will engage a child’s core muscles (back and front). Make sure the child is breathing and not holding their breath during these activities. Focus on good quality exercises rather than quantity. Be silly and make sure it is fun for the child! If the activity is too hard for the child think of a way to adapt it or find another activity that is the “just right challenge” for them.


  • Laying on stomach, lift legs and arms off the ground and hold that position


  • Laying on back, bring knees up to 90 degrees and lift upper body off the ground with arms across chest and hold that position until someone says “pop” and the egg breaks open


  • Laying on stomach, push up onto forearms or hands while keeping the body straight and hold
  • To make it easier go on knees, to make it harder go on toes


  • Keeping their shoulders and head on the ground, knees bent and feet on the ground the child will bring their bottom up and hold that position

Snake Curl Ups

  • Have the child lie on their back with knees bent
  • Pretend to play a magic flute or play some snake charmer music on YouTube and have them sit up until their hands are on top of their knees
  • Stop the music and start over
  • Hold their feet down if they are having difficulty

Crawling Through a Tunnel

  • Any crawling activity is great for engaging the core

Inchworm Walk

  • Start with hands and feet touching the ground with bottom up (legs and arms straight)
  • Walk hands forward until the body is in a plank position
  • Then walk feet up to hands and start over

Crab Walk

  • On hands and feet with bottom lifted off the ground walk around sideways


  • Most yoga poses are great for engaging the core, some ideas include boat pose, happy baby pose, downward dog, 3 legged dog, dolphin pose
  • Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube is great for kids


  • Child lays on their stomach and adult lifts up their feet
  • Child pushes up onto straight arms and walks around on hands
  • Make sure the child keeps their body as straight as possible
  • To make it easier, the adult can hold onto the child’s legs closer to their hips

Heavy Work Activities

Heavy work activities are activities that involve the big muscles and joints of the body (pushing, pulling, carrying, etc.). Heavy work activities help release a neurotransmitter called serotonin that helps calm and organize our brain and bodies. Below are some examples of heavy work activities:

  • Carrying heavy books from one room to another at school
  • Playing tug of war with a rope
  • Crawling through a tunnel
  • Pushing themselves around on a scooter board
  • Pulling another student that is holding a hula hoop and sitting on a scooter board
  • Pulling another child around on a sheet or blanket
  • Pushing the cart while grocery shopping
  • Doing animal walks (crab, bear, bunny, kangaroo, elephant, etc.)
  • Wall push ups – stand up with hands against the wall and do a push up
  • Popcorn – sitting in a chair push up on hands so bottom is off the seat, keep popping up and down like popcorn

There are so many activities that would be considered heavy work activities. Any activity that involves the large muscles of the body are great for organizing the brain to help the child be ready to learn. Use these activities throughout the day to help children stay on task and provide them with the movement their bodies crave!