Kindergarten Readiness/Transition Series
(Information for Parents)
We hope you are enjoying the Kindergarten Readiness Email Series!  
As a reminder: The Kindergarten Activity Section is going to focus on one of the following 7 Areas:  Self-Care; Language and Communication; Social/Emotional; Fine Motor; Gross Motor; Math Readiness and Pre-Reading/Literacy.  This email focuses on Gross Motor.


Self Help Inc CFCE Staff
Kindergarten Article

 Kindergarten's Coming: Work Those Gross Motor Skills!  

By Rae Pica
Playing outside helps children burn off steam. But all that running and jumping and climbing also holds another hidden benefit - it helps children work on gross-motor skills. Unlike fine-motor skills, which work the small muscles of the hands, gross-motor skills work the large muscles. All that child's play burns calories, but it also helps kids develop strong bones and muscles, and "feeds" the brain with glucose, oxygen, and water.

More than that, time on the playground or in the backyard gives children the confidence and the competence to take part in physical activity for a lifetime! Here are some games that encourage them to practice in developmentally appropriate ways:

  • In and Around. There's nothing like an obstacle course to provide practice with any number of skills, including crawling, creeping, walking, and jumping. Additionally, an obstacle course will offer your child valuable experience with prepositions such as over, under, around, and through. Set up a course using large empty boxes, chairs, or other pieces of furniture, jump ropes, and small items to move around. Then lead your child through the maze!
  • Chasing Bubbles. Want to give your child a reason to run and jump? Take her outside and invite her to catch the bubbles you blow!
  • Follow the Leader. Even if it's just you and your child, the game is plenty of fun. And it's a great opportunity to practice motor skills! Lead the way around the living room or backyard, performing as many different locomotor (traveling) skills as you know and let your child replicate them.
  • Traffic Lights. For this game you'll need three large pieces of paper or cardboard - one red, one green, and one yellow. When you hold up the green paper, the children walk. When you hold up the yellow, they walk in place. At the sight of the red, they stop and wait. Start with walking until they get the hang of it. Then play it with any other locomotor skills they can perform.
  • In and Out. Place a plastic hoop on the floor or ground. Then invite your child to jump in and out of the hoop, all the way around. When he's able to hop (one-footed), invite him to hop in and out.
  • Tag With a Twist. A game of tag is a great way to get children to practice both running and dodging. To be sure the latter skill is involved, gradually reduce the available area in which the game is played!

Kindergarten Activity Section

Skills: Gross Motor:

Strong Gross motor control is important in helping students have the stamina to learn. It gives them the ability and balance they need to sit through a lesson and enables them to interact physically (play!) with peers.

  • Is able to run and skip.
  • Can do a two-footed jump and a one-legged hop.
  • Alternates feet when climbing stairs.
  • Can walk backwards.
  • Is able to bounce and kick a ball.
  • Attempts a two-handed catch of large ball.

More Gross Motor Activities:

Balloon Toss: Blow up several balloons and toss them back and forth. Try moving closer to each other and farther away from each other. Try using different body parts (hands, elbows, heads) or blowing the balloon up in the air. See how many times your preschooler can bounce the balloon up before it falls to the ground.

Hula Hoop Fun: Invest in several different colored hula hoops; lay them on the ground. Give instructions such as "run to the red hula hoop and pretend to be a car," or "hop over to the green hula hoop like a bunny."

Egg Races: Using plastic eggs, race from one end of the yard to the next holding the egg on a serving spoon (or a measuring cup or smaller spoon, depending on the dexterity of your child). See how far your child can get without dropping/breaking an egg. Try not to focus on "winning," but on having fun while walking with the egg.

A hilarious alternative to this game is to have the children get on their hands and knees and push the plastic eggs from one place to another using only their noses.

Sidewalk Chalk Simon Says: Draw large shapes, letters of the alphabet, numbers, etc. using sidewalk chalk. Say "Simon says stand on the yellow square," or "Simon says sit on the number 5." For more advanced kids, try multiple step instructions like "Simon says run to number 14, then hop over to number 20." This is a fun way to work on recognition of higher numbers, lowercase letters, etc.

Jump the Brook: Draw two lines on the ground with sidewalk chalk (or use ropes in the grass). Let your child try to "jump over the brook." You can move the lines together or farther apart, depending on your child's abilities.


Kindergarten Resources

CHECK OUT this website
for an extensive list of places to go.  Indoor and Outdoor places to support your child's gross motor development!
Contact Us
Self Help Inc./CFCE
780 West Main Street
Avon, MA 02322
Phone: 508-559-1666 x128 


Self Help Inc./CFCE is funded by the MA Department of Early Education's Coordinated Family and Community Engagement grant.