Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide 2012 - Gifts to promote gross motor development

Today I am sharing toys and games that help promote the development of gross motor skills. Gross motor skills include so much more than just walking. Read on for suggestions to get your child crawling, throwing, jumping, pedaling, and more!


Babies develop SO much in the first year of life. Rolling, sitting, crawling, are some suggestions to help develop those skills.

- There are SO many activity tables out there for babies, which means it is fairly easy to find a gently used one at a thrift store, a yard sale, or on Craigslist. Activity tables can be used to develop a variety of gross motor skills (tummy time, sitting, standing), and as a bonus, they also help develop fine motor and cognitive skills too!

- The Step Start Walk 'n Ride is a push toy that converts into a ride on toy. While this toy is not the most sturdy for very early walkers, it is great for children with special needs who need a little extra practice with walking before it becomes a solid skill. Then fold it into the ride on toy to further develop gross motor skills!

- The design of the Oball makes it easy for little hands to grasp and the sound of the beads inside the ball makes the ball even more interesting to babies. The Oball is a great introduction to early ball skills.

- This is another great "baby's first ball" to introduce early ball skills, such as rolling and grasping the ball. The tags and the high contrast fabric make the ball even more engaging for babies.

- The VTech Move and Crawl Activity Ball is engaging and motivating, encouraging your child to crawl after it. As an added bonus, the buttons and tags help develop fine motor and cognitive skills, too!


Anyone who knows a toddler knows that they are on the move! Below are some toy suggestions to focus that energy on developing specific gross motor skills.

- The Gertie Ball has a fun, knobby texture, and is easy for toddlers learning to catch and throw.

- Catch the butterflys in the net to develop eye hand coordination.

- This bowling set from Melissa and Doug is another toy that helps develop eye hand coordination.

- The wide base of this scooter does make it a good first scooter, providing extra support and stability for toddlers who want to use a scooter, but don't quite have the balance for a more "grown up" scooter.


Preschoolers continue to move and explore their environment. It is at this age that children begin to show even more independence in activities that require gross motor skills, like riding a tricycle.

Original Toy Company Fold and Go Trampoline

- A trampoline with a handle is great for developing leg strength and gross motor skills.

- This scooter is the next step up from My First Scooter. The narrower base of this scooter helps develop balance and coordination.

- A tricycle further develops leg strength, balance and coordination, preparing children for bike riding skills. 

- This kickball by Melissa and Doug is a little smaller than a traditional kickball, making it easier for those just learning how to kick.

- This basketball hoop by Fisher Price will grow with your child as his or her skills develop.

- Feed the Woozle is an interactive game that not only promotes gross motor development, it also develops counting skills, fine motor skills, body awareness, turn taking, and more! 

- Super Stretchy ABCs is like Twister for preschoolers. Works on letter recognition and gross motor skills!

School-age Children:

Once children reach school age,gross motor skills become even more refined and complex. Developing balance and coordination will help develop the skills required to ride a bike or play organized sports.

- I would say a Razor Scooter is the final step in scooters. The narrow base of this scooter really challenges balance and coordination skills.

- Twister is a fun way to work on left/right skills as well as gross motor skills.

- I use a balance board almost everyday in therapy to work on core strength and balance skills. This monkey balance board is fun for young children.

- The Wobble Deck is a more advanced balance board. It "wobbles" in all directions and is like Simon Says meets a balance board. 

Looking for even more ideas? Be sure to check out my Amazon Store!

*This post contains affiliate links.

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