A Few of Our Favorite Things – Gross Motor

Over the past few weeks I’ve been asked about a few of the toys and materials that my boys are playing with or using.  I put together a list of some of our favorites and organized them by which developmental domain they best fit into, first up is gross motor.

This Sit-on Crane has been one of the best gifts we have ever received.  Our Oldest has used it to scoop dirt, mud, leaves and snow.  In addition to building upper body strength, it requires concentration, coordination and planning.

Gonge Riverstones are going to be one of the boys Christmas presents this year so I can’t give a child review but from looking at them myself, I can tell they are going to be a hit with both the 1 year old and the 4 year old.  They are incredibly sturdy, do not slide on the floor, and will be a really great way to incorporate gross motor play inside during the winter months.

We got this Balance Board as a gift over two years ago and it has not been removed from regular play ever since.  It was a celebration, years apart, when each of the boys was able to balance on their own for the first time.  They have created many different ways to climb on, jump off, balance without moving, go back and forth quickly and slowly, and even as a ramp for cars and trucks.

This crazy looking thing is called a Bilibo.  I first saw one of these when a student brought one in to share when I was teaching.  I saw two and three year olds enjoy it so much that I knew I wanted one on my list of things to get when I had kids of my own.  It gets a great deal of use in our house and is in our regular toy rotation.  We keep it inside as a way to get gross motor activity indoors.  This toy is on many physical therapists list as something that helps to build balance, coordination and provides sensory input.  Being completely open-ended, it allows for play across developmental domains.

We got the Flying Turtle after playing one at a family member’s house.  It is great for ALL ages!  It requires balance, coordination, upper and lower body strength, and really is just a lot fun, especially when going down hill.

We love our Micro Mini Kick Scooter.  It has gotten so much use over the past two and a half years.  It helps to build leg muscles, requires coordination and can be maneuvered by leaning to one side or the other.  The base is wide enough for a young toddler to feel comfortable but an older preschooler can get some good speed and have fun using the break on the back wheel, as well.

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