From the age of 6 months, babies begin to acquire control over their own body: from using their neck to lifting a leg; it is one of the first examples of gross motor skills. It is important to work on it at an early age so that children develop their coordination, balance and body strength. Crawling, running, jumping or walking are some of the activities that, together with the following exercises, help to reinforce gross motor skills in infants.

gross motor skills

Work on gross motor skills


Calisthenics encompasses all the exercises that are performed with one’s own weight without the need for any other material. It is an ideal training system to start working on gross motor skills, as it includes simple activities such as standing on tiptoe, jumping, walking on one leg or jumping frogs, among others. Once these techniques are mastered, you can start playing hopscotch, for example, or even perform difficult circuits in which you have to jump, crawl or move from one side to the other.

Walking on a line

For this activity it is necessary to stick an adhesive tape approximately three meters long on the floor. First, you must show how to walk on it so that the child follows the example. Eventually, he will be able to do it alone and master the course without stepping off the tape. In this way, he improves his balance and learns different ways of walking: you can also encourage him to walk backwards or to jump from one side of the treadmill to the other.

Balloon toss

Improves hand-eye coordination and teaches how to direct the throw at an object with the arms. The objective is to throw a balloon into a box one meter away. To do this, the adult shows how to throw it using slow, smooth movements. Then it is the child’s turn: first accompanied by the adult and then alone. When he/she can throw it without help, he/she can begin to work on throwing it towards a specific object: a box that must be placed right in front of him/her and gradually move further away.


With this popular game, children increase their arm strength and improve the precision of their movements towards an object. It can be played with a ball and empty milk cartons or plastic bottles filled with a little sand. Just place the six containers in a 3-2-1 composition and place the little ones three meters apart. After showing them how to do it, it is advisable to help them roll the ball until they manage to do it on their own. Pointing at the cartons they knock down is a good way to motivate them.

The wheelbarrow game

Suitable for children 5 or 6 years old, it is ideal for improving gross motor skills and working on arm strength. In pairs, one of the children grabs the feet of the other, who rests his hands on the floor. In this way, they start a race of several meters until they reach a point. The game can be even more fun if some obstacles or challenges are introduced, such as picking up a piece and returning to the starting point in the shortest time possible.

Potato race

This consists of carrying a potato on a spoon for one and a half meters while avoiding dropping it. After a demonstration, the child can complete the course alone or even complete a circuit with an opponent. Thanks to this activity, balance and manual control are increased, and hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills are worked on.

The mirror game

The main thing to do with this game is to divide the classroom into pairs: one of them will be the leader and the other the next one; roles that will change in each round. Thus, the leader will perform a series of actions such as jumping, dancing, crouching or singing, while the partner imitates him/her. In this way, observation and motor coordination are promoted and, in addition, body language is worked on so that children can better understand emotions and non-verbal signals.

Role-playing with animals

In a spacious room, all students must be separated in such a way that they do not collide with each other and can perform all the movements. The teacher will become a kind of ‘fairy godmother’ who will turn them into animals. For example, if the teacher says they will be toads, they must imitate the movements of a toad. In this way, gross motor skills are developed while imagination and creativity are worked on.


Climbing has numerous benefits such as overcoming oneself or learning to work in a team. It also helps to work on different parts of the body and other very important aspects for psychomotor development such as balance and reflexes. Although it may seem like a sport for adults, there are many options for children, either in parks with climbing structures or in specialized climbing walls.


In a spacious room or in the playground where the students can move freely, explain what signal will cause them to be petrified; it could be, for example, that the music stops or a whistle blows. Thus, they will move freely around the area and when the signal is blown they will not be able to move at all, otherwise they will be eliminated. This activity keeps them focused and reinforces their ability to follow instructions.