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Indoor Gross Motor Activities for Cold Winter Days

Children playing in kindergarten

Megan Pittsinger

It’s that time of year again, the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are getting colder. It’s also that time of year when we need to have indoor gross motor activity ideas ready and waiting for those dreaded days that do not meet the weather permitting guidelines. So, here are some great ideas, whether you have a dedicated indoor gross motor space, or you need to make modifications in your classroom, these activities are for you.

Lily Pad Hop
All you need are lily pads (paper plates/paper) and tape. Tape your lily pads to the floor and hop away! Try some variations, like placing the lily pads at various distances, hop like a frog, jump on one foot or two, or skip a lily pad. The possibilities and fun are endless!

Hopscotch
You know it’s so much fun in one game. Create a few hopscotch areas, divide the children into groups and have fun! Try some variations based on what the children in your classroom are learning. Maybe instead of numbers, try colors or shapes. Use it like regular hopscotch or add your own flare: name numbers, landing on two spots, add the numbers together, land on a color – name the color and/or pick out something in the classroom that is the same color.

Target Practice
All you need are some bean bags and/or balls, targets on the wall and/or buckets on the floor and you are ready to go! Have the children begin close to the targets and then gradually move back. If you are looking for something more challenging and fun – have the children close their eyes and aim for the buckets, stand on one foot and throw, or turn around and toss the bean bag/ball over their shoulder.

Obstacle Course
Create an obstacle course space; open space works or use classroom furniture to create areas to crawl under/through or to step over or balance. Have children try the bear crawl, the belly crawl, the crab walk, hop, skip, jump, do lunges and squats, and walk backwards. Change the pace – quickly, slowly, reverse.

Remember to individualize your activities to meet the needs of the children in your classroom. Focus on what the children are interested in and have fun! Also, remember warmer weather is just around the corner and you’ll be back outside in no time!

* Please refer to the PA Position Statements for more information about Pennsylvania’s Weather Permitting Guidelines.

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Wishing you a  season of gladness, a season of cheer, and to top it all off – a wonderful year! We look forward to bringing you more posts in 2020!   Sincerely, The Program Quality
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