motor skills

Developing Motor Skills - how to help your child to develop their gross motor skills

NHS GrampianThe information on this page is also available to download:


Children can be encouraged to develop their abilities and confidence in general co-ordination and movement through everyday play, including visits to parks and play centres. Other activities to develop movement skills are listed below:

Moving Games

  • Games where child has to change their position, movements, speed or direction in a controlled manner such as: obstacle courses, crawling, walking, jumping, going backwards, walking in high kneeling
  • Musical statues/bumps
  • Cat and mouse
  • Animal walks such as: jumping like a kangaroo, sneak like a mouse, slither like a snake
  • Leap frog over low objects
  • Commando crawling along floor/benches

Jumping and hopping games
space hoper

  • Hop scotch
  • Bouncy castles
  • Trampolines
  • Space hoppers
  • Jumping / hopping in squares or hoops at different speeds

Obstacle Courses

  • Encourage child to choose equipment and layout the course
  • Encourage child to move over, under and through objects.
  • Encourage child to try out different ways and speeds of moving
  • Use tables, chairs, towels, benches and objects that are wobbly are also good

Ball Games

  • Use a balloon (slow moving) for ball games initially, moving onto a large soft ball as confidence increasestoy ball
  • Teach child to have hands out in front of them ready for catching
  • Rolling ball to each other, stopping it with hand and then foot
  • Balloon volleyball (passing balloon back and forth over a line or net)
  • Throwing at targets or into boxes Increasing the distance gradually
  • Bouncing and catching games
  • Skittles

Other physical activities

  • Climbing frames
  • Swings
  • Chutes
  • Roundabouts
  • Swimming
  • ‘Log-rolling’ down a small incline or playing in a toy barrel