Summer Activities That Help Develop Gross Motor Skills

Summer activities that help develop gross motor skills


Gross motor skills are body movements such as walking, running, jumping, throwing, etc. In order to develop gross motor skills we must be able to coordinate our large muscle groups (arms, legs, and core) to work together. Practice and repetition are the best ways to develop and fine tune gross motor skills. In this week’s blog I am going to give you some fun outdoor activities to help develop your child’s gross motor skills.



  • Jumping forward = Have your child practice jumping forward by placing hula hoops on the ground and having them jump from hoop to hoop
  • Jumping down = Take your child to the park and work on jumping down from surfaces of various heights. Start small and work your way up to higher surfaces
  • Jumping up = Have your child practice jumping up over obstacles with some pool noodles. Place a noodle on the ground and have them jump over it, and add noodles on top to make it harder.


  • Walking balance = Build a balance beam with your child and practice walking different ways such as forward and backward.
  • Single Leg Balance = Have your child practice balancing on 1 foot while doing an activity like a water balloon or egg toss.


  • Agility = Play red light green light outside and have something fun at the finish line like a snack or toy.
  • Endurance = Have you and your child create a track with sidewalk chalk and pretend to be race cars. Make a set number of laps and start running.


These are just several ideas to help with gross motor skill development. Whether you are working on a specific activity or just playing, being outside can help develop lots of different skills. Below are some links with lots of outdoor activities, so get outside and play!


-Matthew D’Antonio, PT, DPT

Pediatric Physical Therapist

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