Warmer temps and the longer days of summer provide the perfect backdrop for getting out and getting moving! When we work toward our PT goals we look at using big movement to strengthen the large muscles and build gross motor skills. We’ve gathered a whole bunch of easy-to-do summer activities that will keep those kiddos moving and playing with a purpose!
Relay races, or races of any kind, are an awesome way to get that big movement in! Try one of these fun, interactive races to change things up.
Egg and Spoon Race – grab a spoon and 1 egg per kiddo, have the kids balance the egg on the spoon as they walk, run, gallop, or skip from one end of the yard and back. Not only are you working those large muscle groups with movement and balance, the concentration and focus brain muscles are engaged as well.
Magic Hat Race – Kind of like a kid-friendly charades game, a Magic Hat Race, is a fun way to get that big movement in while also getting the imagination going! Fill a hat with different ways to move – skip, gallop, sprint, crab walk, walk backwards, whatever you can think of – set up a race course and each kiddo has to pull a move and complete the course!
American Ninja Warrior has nothing on our kiddos! Create an obstacle course that requires the kids to climb, balance, crouch, swing, jump over, climb under – this PT supportive activity is always a hit!
PT At The Park
Just a simple trip to your neighborhood park is an awesome way to get some PT work in! Encourage kids to use ALL the equipment – climb those ladders, swing from the monkey bars, lay out a course for them and see how fast they can move through all the equipment. Even just pumping their legs and engaging their core on the big swings is ideal for large muscle strengthening.
Use Colored Spots
A therapy favorite, these inexpensive and super versatile rubber spots are an easy way to get big movement in and have a blast!
Color Walk – lay the spots out and have kiddos jump from spot to spot as you call out colors
Animal Walk – encourage kids to move like the animals do from spot to spot – hop like a frog, crawl like a spider, run like a cheetah and get that big movement in.
Floor Skating – with bare feet, have kids stand with a foot on a spot and slide across a smooth floor.
PT Supportive Games
These classic, beloved games are all awesome ways to get those big muscles working as well as working on executive functioning skills like active listening, concentration and memory.
Red Light Green Light
Ride on Toys
They are some of the simplest outdoor toys around but a good ride on toy, like a tricycle, scooter or sit and scoot toy, are great ways to work big muscle groups while having a blast!
Walk The Word
This fun game can be done inside with pieces of paper or outside with sidewalk chalk. Choose an easily decodable (sound-out-able) word and in large print write each letter on a piece of paper or on the ground with chalk and as the child sounds out the word they can step, hop or jump to each letter. Big movement AND phonics practice is a great combo!
Go For A Swim
Swimming is one of the summer activities that truly uses every large muscle group in the body – it’s the perfect PT activity! So let those little fish swim and watch their strength and coordination increase!
Take A Hike
Lace up those boots, throw on a backpack for a bit of added sensory input and head out! The slow and deliberate movement of a good hike is an awesome way to build muscle and work on core stability.
Ride A Bike
Another simple, kid approved summertime favorite, getting on a bike for a bit every day works balance, stability and big muscle groups.
Playing with a purpose this summer doesn’t require a lot of fancy equipment, scheduling appointments during busy weeks or convincing kids to get their work in. Meeting goals and building skills are so easy when you incorporate and encourage some of these summer activities!
And as always, if you’re looking for more resources and support, reach out! We’d love to hear from you!