Between Easter and Spring, we’re doing a lot of jumping and hopping these days! We’re frogs, we’re bunnies, we’re dinosaurs, and other various extinct animals—all great fun.
Feeling inspired by my sons’ abilities to move non-stop and their adorableness, I created a series of movements for us to do based on HOPPING and JUMPING.
Hopping and jumping are great for gross motor skill development. Gross motor skills are essential because children are little balls of energy moving, moving, moving, so helping them develop a sense of balance and personal space is critical to safety.
Beyond safety, I’ve noticed when my child is comfortable with whatever physical activity he is doing, he is more secure and confident in his movements also with his interactions with the people around him.
Ways to Work on Gross Motor Skills at Home
Lake and Land
I learned this one at the Montessori conference a few weeks ago. You can use tape or rope to make two parallel lines. One line is the LAKE, and the other is the LAND.
Ask your child to stand on LAKE and explain that only when you say LAND does he jump or hop to the other side. Explain that he must stay in place when he is standing on LAKE, and you say LAKE. This activity is fabulous for self-regulation. We created different versions of this approach by naming objects you find on land or in the water.
So, boat, car, lion, seal, etc. A further extension would be to ask a question and answer it. If you are correct, the child jumps/hops to the other side. So, “2+2=5” = Stays, “2+2=4” = JUMPS/HOPS.
Bubble Wrap Road
This one is so fun for kids. They love the sound, the feel, and the satisfaction of hearing the pop.
Hop/Jump the Line
We love Montessori’s Walk the Line exercise. Walking the Line is excellent for body awareness and creating a more calm environment. It sounds a little crazy, but when children learn where their bodies are in relation to other people and objects, the environment has a positive impact.
So we march, we walk, we do figure eights, and now we HOP! Draw with chalk outside or use tape inside to create the line. Then have your child hop/jump the line straight, go backward, sideways, over objects, and back and forth.
Besides moving our bodies, other activities we did on a particular day to celebrate “hopping” was studying the Frog Life cycle with a great set of life cycle figurines and one of our favorite books, From Tadpole to Frog.
Thanks for visiting!