Gross Motor Activities for SUMMER

Summer Gross Motor Activities

School’s out for summer! You might be wondering how to find balance between work and your child’s free time. Here are some physical activities to burn that unused energy while addressing your child’s motor planning, bilateral coordination, body awareness, and safety awareness!


1.) Go to your local playground:

Find the jungle gym and have your child navigate over and under all the obstacles. You can make it more challenging by bringing Squigz, magnetic darts, or any other toy that can stick to surfaces and have your child try to find them all. While addressing motor planning, using toys to find in their environment will also address your child’s visual scanning and visual motor skills! Have your child climb up slides, hide toys in the sandbox, and you can also use the swings for some vestibular input!

2.) Chalk Play:

-Use sidewalk chalk to draw a hopscotch board. You can also make various circles (I call them islands) and play “The Floor is Lava.” Have your child jump from circle to circle in order to avoid the “lava” and make a big rectangle with “Finish” inside for the finish line.

-Sensory Chalk Walk: Make various different shapes and lines for your child to follow. For example, you can draw a squiggly line like this: ~~~~ for your child to follow. If you have a hop-along ball, you can have your child bounce through the course. Make squiggly lines, circles, and lines at varying angles to make it more interesting!

3.) Two or Four Square:

Depending on the amount of players, draw a big box using chalk and split it into two or 4 individual squares. It will look something like this: Then take a medium or large size bouncy ball, and each player needs to hit the ball with any part of their hand into an opposing players box after it has bounced only once in their square. If the ball goes out of bounds, the player who last hit it in bounds gets the point. This is a great game for body awareness!

4.) Tug of War:

Grab a rope and have your child pull against you or another peer. This game offers strengthening, motor planning, and proprioceptive input that can be calming to support self-regulation.

5.) Sprinkler Play:

Children can work on jumping and skipping through the sprinkler. You can also have your child try to avoid the water as well. Don’t forget to have your child help in setting up and removing the sprinkler!

These are just some of many activities you can do this summer to bring some fun to your child while working many important skills for their growth and development. In addition to these, don’t forget about bike rides, beach days, and trips to your favorite summer spots!

Written By Michael Attanasio, OTR/L