This post was sponsored by Landscape Structures as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Fine and Gross Motor Skills
Honestly, I’ve yet to meet a child who doesn’t love being outdoors. This great space gives our children an amazing space to learn, grow and adventure. Kids are naturally drawn to outdoor play…I keep seeing all around in different articles that pop up online or while reading in different spaces that kids should spend at least three hours a day outside. At first I was shocked…and thought there is no way that’s possible…but it is possible if we make it a priority! Between playgrounds, bike riding, playing with chalk, going on walks, water play, picnics and… the list goes on…outdoor play can be fun and educational!
Playgrounds and outdoor play are a favorite here at our house…if we pass a playground in the car going somewhere, I’ll get the question from the back seat “Mama, is that where I play with my friends?”. Not only is my child making memories outdoors she’s developing so many types of motor skills while climbing, jumping, sliding, swinging, walking and running.
I love the skills that my child learns through outdoor play. Outdoor learning is so vital to a child’s developmental health and mental health. Through outdoor play kids will learn independence as well as it allows them to explore their environment, develop muscle strength and coordination, and gain self-confidence. This nurtures their psyches and will instill lifelong skills just through self-discovery and play. There is something fundamentally healthy for a child to have outdoor play.
Outdoor Gross Motor Activities for Preschoolers
Outdoor play with Landscape Structures, which are designed as better playgrounds, welcome all ages and abilities. With these being a great gathering space for communities…we are grateful that they offer the most innovative play. Thankfully our local playground is equipped with Landscape Structures!
As you consider time spent outdoors with your little ones – think more deeply into what they are actually learning as you let them explore and have fun. Here is a list of 24 outdoor gross motor activities for preschoolers...most of these activities you’ll not have to create for them…rather naturally on a playground or outdoor space they’ll do these activities naturally on their own.
Outdoor Fine Motor Activities:
Lets get away from the monkey bars and swings and think about the fine motor skills your child can learn while still being outdoors. They may get a little dirty but they’ll clean up!
- Making mud pies
- Writing with Chalk
- Creating letters with a stick in the dirt
- Making letters with rocks
- Picking Flowers
- Collecting Rocks
Take a minute to watch the Landscape Structure video and learn more about the importance of play and how it affects and shapes children.
Why are fine and gross motor skills important?
First lets define these types of motor skills – these are the two motor skills used in an everyday life of a young child. We have…
Fine motor skills – which are small movements that use the small muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, lips, and tongue. Think of your child picking up small objects or holding a spoon.
Gross motor skills – which are big movements that use the large muscles in the arms, legs, torso, and feet. Think of this motor skills as your child in the beginning stages of life rolling over and sitting. As your child grows their gross motor skills development also graduates to jumping and running.
What are examples of fine and gross motor skills?
Let’s break down these types of motor skills into giving you some basic examples how these skills are developed in a child through stages of growth.
Gross Motor Skills Examples
This is not an exhaustive list…but just a list of examples to get you thinking towards the right direction in what gross motor skills actually are. Each motor skill learned happens through the stages of childhood development from infant to preschooler:
- Rolling Over
- Sitting up
- Catching a Ball
List of Fine Motor Activities
Most of this list will be the fine motor skills for preschoolers or around this age of child development. My preschooler hasn’t developed all of these fine motor skill activities but I know she’s developing the skill of using scissors as I let her explore play-doh…with time it will come…each skill only adds to the next skill.
- Zipping a jacket
- Shoe Laces
- Putting together puzzles
- Playing with blocks
- Scooting a train or car across the floor
- Using scissors
With all of this being said, I hope you’ll be encouraged to get outside with your children. Let them explore and most importantly play. Physical play and playing outside is fantastic for helping children practice their physical abilities. Exercises such as running, jumping, skipping and playing ball games not only strengthen little muscles, but they can also help with gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination and overall health and wellbeing. Have fun, schedule time to be outdoors, make it a priority for you and your family and embrace it.