Motor Activities

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Backyard Soccer

Backyard Soccer!

Set up a backyard soccer game! Use sticks as goalposts and use any ball to play with! This is an easy and fun activity to keep children active!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Soccer ball (or a similar ball) and sticks
  • Subject: Physical Development
Bowling!

Bowling!

Turn your hallway or living room into a bowling alley! Substitute bowling pins for toilet paper rolls or water bottles!

Use a wiffle ball, bouncy ball, or tennis ball to see how many pins you can knock over!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: 6-10 toilet paper rolls or water bottles
  • Subject: Exercise
Bozo Buckets slide

Bozo Buckets

Find 4–5 bowls, buckets, bins, or cups and a few bouncy balls or ping-pong balls. Set up the bins in a line on the ground.

While standing in one place, try to get at least one ball in each bin. Place the buckets farther away for more of a challenge!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials:
    • Bowls, buckets, bins, or cups (4–5)
    • Ping-pong balls or bouncy balls
  • Subject: Science and exercise
Chalk Obstacle Course

Chalk Obstacle Course

Create an obstacle course made of chalk on the driveway or sidewalk! Create a start and an end. Draw squiggly lines and circles, marking places to run, hop, skip, and twist! Have them hop like a frog, wiggle like a worm, and leap like a leopard!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Chalk
  • Subject: Exercise
Charades!

Charades!

Play charades with your child! Cut out slips of paper and write down different things they can act out. These could be different foods, animals, utensils, kinds of furniture, people, songs, movies, TV shows, and bugs. Encourage them to act out the slip of paper that they choose with different body movements.

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Paper, scissors, and pencils
  • Subject: Imagination and Exercise
Color Run

Color Run

Practice colors with your child! Using masking tape, attach different colors of construction paper to the walls. Have your child run and tap on the color you name! You can do the same with pictures of animals, household objects, and people in your family.

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Masking tape and construction paper
  • Subjects: Physical Development
Cup Game

Cup Game

Use three cups to play the classic cup switching game. Flip all three cups upside down and place a small toy under one of them. Move the cups around, making it harder for your child to know which one has the toy under it. Have your child guess which cup has the toy. This activity is beneficial for motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Three cups and a small toy
  • Subject: Motor Skills
Cup Stacking!

Cup Stacking!

Use 6–10 plastic cups to stack into a pyramid. Turn it into a race! How fast can your child stack and unstack the cups without letting the tower fall?

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: 6-10 plastic cups
  • Subject: Exercise
Exercise Dice!

Exercise Dice!

Create your own dice and roll them to determine what exercise you will do with your child. Cut out six squares and draw a different exercise on each square. These exercises could be jumping jacks, running in place, sit ups, skipping around the room, hopping up and down, or pushups. Attach the squares together using tape and roll your set of dice for a fun way to exercise!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Paper, markers, and tape
  • Subject: Exercise
Fill the Bucket

Fill the Bucket

Place two buckets/bowls on opposite ends of your backyard. Fill one bucket with water and place a ping-pong/bouncy ball in the other. Have your child use a sponge to soak up water from one bucket, then run over and squeeze the water into the other bucket. Keep filling the buckets up until the ping-pong/bouncy ball floats out of the bucket! Who can fill their bucket the fastest?

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Buckets/bowls, a sponge, water, and a ping-pong/bouncy ball
  • Subject: Exercise
Follow the Masking Tape Road!

Follow the Masking Tape Road!

Create a path of masking tape around the floor of your house. Add chairs and other objects to the floor to make the path wind around your house. Ask your child to walk, hop, wiggle, and skip through the path!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Masking tape
  • Subject: Exercise
Fun With Bubbles!

Fun With Bubbles!

Create your bubble wands with pipe cleaners and encourage your child to try to create different shapes out of bubbles!

Blow some bubbles! How many can your child catch on their hands, fingers, feet, toes, and head?

  • Estimated Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Materials: Bubbles and pipe cleaners
  • Subject: Sensory
Learning At Home Activities slide

The Floor Is Lava!

Encourage your child to imagine that the floor is lava! Place pillows, cushions, and blankets around the floor of the living room and encourage your child to hop from place to place, avoiding the floor below. If you fall in the lava, you have to start over!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Pillows, cushions, and blankets
  • Subject: Imagination and exercise
Go for a Walk!

Go for a Walk!

Take a walk around outside! Use one of these activities to encourage your child to explore the world around them!

Play a game of “I-Spy” by naming the color of an object you see while you are walking. Ask your child to guess the object by having them look for the color!

Ask your child to count the numbers of objects you see while you are walking! How many cars drive by? How many birds and squirrels are there in the trees? How many cracks are there in the sidewalk?

  • Estimated Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Subject: Exercise
Hammer Tees

Hammer Tees

Show your child how hammering works by giving them some golf tees and a cardboard box. Push the golf tees into the cardboard box and let your child hit them in all the way with a toy hammer or spoon.

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Golf tees, a cardboard box, and a spoon or toy hammer
  • Subject: Motor Skills
Have a Snowball Fight!

Have a Snowball Fight!

You don’t need snow to have a snowball fight! Find a use for all of those unmatched socks by rolling them into balls. Have your children make forts out of pillows and cushions and have a sock battle!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Socks and pillows
  • Subject: Exercise
Keep It Up!

Keep It Up!

Have children play “keep it up” with one or several beach balls! Try not to drop the beach ball. Who can keep it up the longest? Who can juggle the most beach balls?

Make it more challenging by telling them they are only allowed to touch the beach ball with different combinations of just their head, arms, or legs!

  • Estimated Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Materials: 1 or more beach balls
  • Subject: Exercise
Laser Beams!

Laser Beams!

Make a laser obstacle course in your home by attaching streamers or strings to the walls of a hallway in your home. Use masking tape to attach the streamers or strings in a criss-cross pattern. Have your child step and hop through the hallway without touching the lasers! If they touch the lasers they have to start over!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Masking tape and streamers or string
  • Subject: Exercise and problem-solving
Letter Tracing!

Letter Tracing!

Fill a plate or tray with salt, sand, sugar, shaving cream, or whipped cream

Give your child upper and lower case letters, sight words, and spelling words to trace on the plate or tray!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Plate or tray, salt, sand, sugar, shaving cream, or whipped cream
  • Subject: Motor Skills and Early Literacy
  • Activity Source: 10 Quarantine Activities for Kids
Long Jumping

Long Jumping

Who can jump the farthest? Using a hallway or open area in your home, place horizontal lines of masking tape on the floor about one foot apart. Safely encourage your children to hop from a starting point to the farthest piece of tape they can!

Paper Plate Lion

Paper Plate Lion

Give your child markers to draw a lion’s face in the center of a paper plate, and a mane on the outer edge. Encourage your child to practice motor skills by giving them a pair of scissors. Safely allow them to cut slits in the outer edge of the plate, giving the lion’s mane some volume!

Paper Plate Ring Toss

Paper Plate Ring Toss

Cut the outer rim off of a paper plate to use as a ring. Glue or tape an empty cardboard tube to the the inner part of the paper plate. Decorate your rings with markers and play ring toss! See who can get the most rings onto the cardboard tube!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Paper plates, scissors, cardboard tubes, markers, and glue or tape
  • Subject: Games
child playing with water

Play with Water!

Create your own water park or splash pad in your back yard using the sprinkler or garden hose! Give your child the hose! Encourage them to explore how the water moves in the air when they move the hose up and down. Have your child run through the sprinkler and jump to avoid the water!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Garden hose/sprinkler
  • Subject: Exercise and nature
Pom-pom Ball Race!

Pom-pom Ball Race!

Place two lines of masking tape parallel to each other on the floor to form a race track. Use a straw to blow a pom-pom through the track without exiting the sidelines.

Turn it into a race! Who can blow their pom-pom through the track the fastest? Make it more difficult by creating a zig zag patterned track or by adding obstacles to move the pom-pom around!

Pom-pom Soccer

Pom-pom Soccer

Create a soccer field by drawing lines on a piece of paper. Mark goal posts with pipe cleaners, markers, or popsicle sticks. Use straws to blow pom-pom soccer balls into the opponent’s goal.

Puppet show

Puppet Show

Create puppets out of paper bags, old socks, and popsicle sticks. Use markers, paper, and glue to decorate your puppets and turn them into characters!

Have a puppet show! Have your child give each puppet a name and set up a place in your house to put on a show! This could be behind the couch or countertop, or behind a blanket!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials:
    • Paper bags, old socks, paper cutouts, or popsicle sticks
    • Markers, glue, and paper
  • Subject: The arts / social-emotional
Shoe Kick

Shoe Kick

See how far you can kick your shoe! Safely start with your shoe loosely on your foot and try to kick it off. Who can kick it the farthest? Who can kick their shoe the highest?

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Shoes
  • Subject: Motor skills
Sock Juggling

Sock Juggling

Give your child some rolled up socks. Encourage them to try and juggle them! Start by throwing one sock in the air and catching it, then add another, and so on. They might not be successful, but it’s fun to try.

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Rolled up socks
  • Subject: Games and motor skills
Sock Toss

Sock Toss

Cut circular holes into a large piece of cardboard. Place the piece of cardboard on one end of the room. Have your child try to toss rolled up socks into the holes in the cardboard. Give each hole a point value. How many can they get in the hole? How many can they get close?

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Cardboard, scissors, and rolled up socks
  • Subject: Motor skills
Sorting with Spoons

Sorting with Spoons

Have your child practice their sorting skills by placing two bowls in front of them. Fill one bowl with ping-pong balls, golf balls, pom-pom balls, or bouncy balls. Have your child use a spoon to move balls from one bowl to the other. This activity practices hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Sponge Play

Sponge Play

Fill a bucket with water outside. Dip a sponge into it and encourage your child to find places outside of your house that can be washed with a sponge. Have them scrub the mailbox, the garage door, the fence, the patio furniture, the side of the house, and the playset. They will have so much fun watching items go from dirty to clean!

Spoon Race!

Spoon Race!

Create a competition with your child. Place a ping-pong ball, bouncy ball, egg, clementine, piece of candy, or ice cube on a spoon.

How fast can your child make it across the room without dropping the object on the spoon? Make the task more challenging by turning the room into an obstacle course with pillows or cushions.

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Spoon, small round object (ping-pong ball, bouncy ball, egg, clementine, piece of candy, or an ice cube), optional pillows and cushions
  • Subject: Exercise
Treasure Hunt slide

Treasure Hunt!

  1. Make a list of 10-20 items around your house (i.e. spoons, chairs, plants, different foods, toys, etc.)
  2. Find line drawings or pictures of these items to show your child
  3. Have your child go on a treasure hunt to find them! Who can find the most? Who can find them the fastest?
  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials:
    • Various items around the house (silverware, furniture, plants, different foods, etc.)
    • Pictures of objects (drawings or clipart)
  • Subject: Exercise
  • Activity Source: https://parade.com
Yoga slide

Yoga!

Go Noodle is a website dedicated to providing fun exercise and learning videos for young children. Use the following links for some kid-friendly yoga activities!

  • Estimated Time: 15 minutes (Each video is 3-5 minutes long)
  • Materials:
    • A laptop or mobile device
    • Internet connection
  • Subject: Exercise
  • Activity Source: https://www.gonoodle.com/

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Home

Intended audience(s):
  • Parents / Family

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Related IEL Birth to Three Guidelines:
Related Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards:
Reviewed: 2020