Wednesday, February 29, 2012

LEAPing In! Encouraging Children to be ACTIVE!

Hula Hoops and Parachutes are GREAT for promoting children to be active!
If you remember, last month I had the wonderful opportunity to share with you exactly how much WE LOVE PAINT!  AND, with 128 link ups it is quite clear that you all LOVE PAINT too! Hop on over to my blog to see some of my favorites, or check out this great Pinterest Board I made from the link up!

This month, I'm LEAPing in! I usually post on the 30th of each month, but being that there is no 30th of February and a spot opened up.... I hopped right on over! I'm always trying to figure out how to add more hours to my day and celebrating the act of multi-tasking. I'm super excited to be sharing this "EXTRA" time with you and talking about movement, motor development, and exercise!

How to you encourage gross motor development?

We dance.... A LOT!

We throw Snowballs!
We also throw them outside.
 I like to provide children with targets- hula hoops work great!
We love to make our own games, and HOP, HOP, HOP!

We use "BIG" brushes and plungers when we paint

The bigger the brush or brush substitute, the more muscles we need to use. 
Sometimes, it even requires us to use our whole bodies!

We run and play games like 
tag and "What time is it, Mr. Fox?"

We RUN!!!

We sled down the hill and walk back up again!
Sometimes we sled in a swimming pool!
Working together to carry a pool up the hill not only
promotes large muscle development, but social skills too!

We dig, and dig, and dig.. 
and then we dig some more!
Sometimes we dig in the sand....
AND sometimes we dig in the snow!

We go for walks

Real mud is a fantastic sensory experience and jumping in and out of it can be challenge!

Playing with BIG blocks require us to use our muscles!

We climb UP the slide! 

I'm always finding ways to say yes to children especially when it comes to being active. Many times adults make decisions for children to outlaw activities that are developmentally appropriate and that promote healthy risk assessment. I do my best to encourage the children to continue to learn and explore while helping them to alter  "unsafe" activities to make them safe. (For example, providing targets to throw snowballs at instead of throwing them at each other. Helping children with their communication skills... I'm going up the slide right now, wait for me to get the top before you come down!" etc.)

Do you have a great post or idea on how you encourage children to exercise, be active, 
and encourage gross motor development? 

I'd love for you to link on up!!!!

The linky rules are simple...
The post much include an activity that promotes children to be ACTIVE!
Adding our button to your post would be greatly appreciated!

PreK + K Sharing
<div align="center"><a href="" title="PreK + K Sharing "><img src="" alt="PreK + K Sharing " style="border:none;" /></a></div>

 More About Amy

Amy Ahola is the owner/operator of Child Central Station, group home daycare and educational toy store in Marquette, Michigan.  She has been running her own business since 2005. Prior to that time, Amy worked in a childcare center and public school. In addition to her childcare business, Amy also provides educational training sessions. Amy earned a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Northern Michigan University and a M.S. in Training, Development, and Performance Improvement.  For more information about any of her programs, please visit Child Central Station or Find her on Facebook


  1. JDaniel would love walking in the mud.

  2. Great ideas, Amy! I love that the children help create their own games - and the plunger art is too cool! I pinned your post to my Kids' Creative Movement Pinterest board at


We would love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment below....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...