The Ultimate Play-With-A-Purpose Activity!
When it comes to working on motor skills, both fine motor and gross motor, there are so many activities that get some big work done while our kids simply play throughout their day. Using sidewalk chalk during outdoor time is definitely one of those play with a purpose activites!
One of the best things about sidewalk chalk is that it’s affordable, easily accessible and can be used by kids of all ages in ways that work best for them. It’s an awesome multi-purpose activity!
We’ve got 10 super fun ways to use sidewalk chalk and work those motor skills! Each of these activities works on a combination of skills – coordination, motor planning, balance, core strength and more!
1. Create a motor skill obstacle course!
Get creative with some sidewalk chalk and create an obstacle course along the driveway and sidewalk! Whatever you can dream up can work – encourage kids to draw some of their obstacles as well.
Create “rocks” to jump over, line to walk between and hopscotch squares to hop through. It is also easy to create separate courses for kids of varying skill levels!
Any idea will do, just make sure it’s allowing for big movement, coordination and balance!
2. Walk on the “balance beam”!
This is a great one for kiddos working on core strength and overall balance. Draw a “beam” on the sidewalk, about 5-6 inches wide, and let kids practice staying on the beam and between the lines!
Encourage kids to also do the balance beam on tip-toe to work calf muscles.
3. Write number, letters and more with sidewalk chalk!
Outside play with sidewalk chalk doesn’t have to just mean working on gross motor skills!
Use pieces of chalk, both big and small, and practice writing letters, numbers, sight words and so much more! This allows kids to work their fine motor muscles as they write with smaller chalk as well as getting some great phonics work in!
4. Jump along the “lily pads”!
Draw some big and small “lily pads” along the driveway and sidewalk and have kids jump from pad to pad in different ways!
Start with 2 foot jumps, then move to one foot and end with frog jumps along the lily pads. The stronger they get the more power they will be able to put into their jumps!
5. Create a zig-zag run!
Another fun way to work large muscles, balance and coordination is to draw a zig-zag run with chalk!
Make the zigs and zags large enough that kids can successfully make it from one end of the zig zag to another but challenging enough that they’re practicing some great gross motor skills.
This movement will help with core strength and motor planning due to the rapid change in direction.
6. Walk the spiral!
Just like a zig-zag run, drawing a big spiral on the ground that kids walk around works on balance, proprioception, and core stability.
Start by timing your kids to see how long it takes them to walk the spiral. As they get stronger, challenge them to beat their best time!
Grabbing some sidewalk chalk and working motor skills is a great example of playing with a purpose! You will be taking activities that kids love to do anyway and seamlessly incorporate work on some big skills!
We love using what you already have, the space you’re already in and the play you child already loves to make a big impact on their development.
And if you’re looking for any more guidance, info or resources to help support your child as they grow and develop, reach out to us at Beyond Speech Therapy Specialists! We’d love to partner!