3 Gross Motor Activities For Toddlers Who Like to Move

Gross motor activities help children feel confident in their own body while helping them stay healthy through physical activity.

Toddlers and preschoolers have lots of energy, and there is a reason for that: they learn and grow by practicing movement.

I find myself worrying about what my child knows or should know, where they are at in development etc. It seems like a pretty common mom worry. I try to plan activities and games for sensory play, fine motor skill development, and gross motor activities.

What are gross motor skills?

Gross motor skills are the coordination of movements that are required for large muscle movements, such as:

  • running
  • skipping
  • hopping (on both feet and one foot)
  • galloping
  • jumping
  • somersaults
  • pedaling and steering a tricycle
  • climbing a ladder
  • throwing a ball with direction
  • catching a ball using arms and body
  • bouncing a ball

These skills develop before fine motor skills (such as stacking blocks or stringing beads on a string). If you’re looking for ways to keep your children entertained while helping them develop their gross motor skills, try one of these gross motor activities:

Gross Motor Activities: Stop, Slow, Go!

Turn the music up and have a dance party with your kids. These Stop, Slow, Go signs are easy to make with red, yellow, and green construction paper.

Explain to your children that green means to dance freely, yellow means to dance in slow motion and to stop dancing (freeze!) when red appears.


  • Construction Paper (Red, yellow, and green)
  • Scissors
  • Popsicle sticks
See the full instructions for Stop Slow Go.

Gross Motor Activities: Bean Bag Toss

This game can easily be made with what you have around the house. If you don’t have beanbags, you can try putting together these easy no sew beanbags or use small stuffed animals or soft foam balls (whatever you have in the house that they are allowed to toss).

Bean bag toss provides plenty of throwing and aiming practice while working to get a higher score each time!


  • Four colorful bowls
  • Beanbags (or alternative)
  • Circles of paper for each bowl
  • Marker
Learn how to make Bean Bag toss

Gross Motor Activities: Shape Hopscotch

While your child is working on using their large muscle groups to jump, they will also be learning to recognize shapes and colors. Cut out easily recognizable paper shapes (circle, star, square, triangle).

Encourage your children to hop from shape to shape by challenging them only to touch a certain color/shape. Or, you can entice them with a little competition by having your kid’s race to certain colors or shapes. With only one child playing, a stopwatch will keep the competitive spirit alive as they try to beat their last time.


  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Painter’s Tape

Get the full instructions for making Shape Hopscotch

Kids Yoga

play mat for kids

I am always amazed at how long my children will watch and participate with Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube. I break out our play mat so they have a padded surface and let them go! It is at least 30 minutes of mom time for me. WIN. 

I love that they are interested in yoga. It helps develop their gross motor skills, while learning, and toning.

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