Toddler Gross Motor Activities

Easy toddler gross motor activities to build your toddler’s upper body strength as well as their balance.

2 year old toddlers are running, climbing and physically active. You can use this to your advantage by using some of these planned activities to further develop their gross motor skills at home.

Gross motor skills are necessary for walking, running, sitting and crawling and all of these become necessary later when your toddler grows up and needs to grow in physical strength as well as for the simple function of being able to sit for school work.

While writing is a fine motor skill, the gross muscles need to be strong to support the torso for the task.

Balance beams
Set up a simple balance beam in your yard with two bricks and a fairly wide plank of wood. Get your toddler to walk across this. As they begin to master it you can add a second stack of bricks or a narrower plank.

Bean bag games
Throwing and catching bean bags is often much easier for this age group than balls which tend to run away. You can throw these to one another, your toddler can throw them into a wash basket, over a rope or onto a hole in a cardboard box for variety.

Hoop games
If you have a large enough lawn, you can roll a hula-hoop down the lawn and get your toddler to chase and catch it. When they are a little older get them to try and run through the hoop while it is still moving.

Hopscotch, hopping up and down stairs, hopping on paving stones…all of these are great toddler gross motor activities for balance.

At 2 years old you toddler will probably still be jumping with only one foot leaving the ground. As the year progresses they should start to lift both feet off the ground. You can encourage them to jump by playing the animal games below.

Animal games and movements
This was one of our children’s favourite games until they were well into the primary school years. Get your toddler to imitate the way certain animals walk. It’s even more fun if mom joins in! They can:

  • Slither like a snake
  • Hop like a bunny
  • Waddle like a penguin
  • Walk like a dog
  • Spring like a kangaroo

Running after bubbles
On a wind free day select a large grassy area and blow bubbles for your toddler to chase and pop. This is on of the great natural toddler gross motor activities.

Balls large throwing and catching
Purchase some outsized balls for your toddler to roll, throw and catch.

Ride on toys
There is a huge selection of ride on toys for toddlers. Do not rush into buying a tricycle too soon as this is not normally age appropriate until 3.5 years.

Climbing Frames
Climbing frames are great fun to have in your yard for toddler gross motor activities. Choose ones that have a platform and a tent if you can as this becomes an extension for imaginary play.

Consider Gardening...
Gardening with your children from young is a wonderful wholesome habit to develop and it has the bonus of encouraging your children to do productive work in a fun way and build upper body strength at the same time. Take a look at Lindsey's where she says: "Creating a toddler garden is the perfect way of ensuring your toddler can enjoy the delights of being outside and exploring nature safely. Whether you have a small garden which can be made completely toddler-proof or whether you want to design a specific toddler play area within a larger garden, you will find loads of ideas and inspirations here."

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