Gross Motor Exercises

The Circuit Buffet

For general gross motor work or to stimulate the brain prior to another therapy or academic pursuit, choose 1 from each of the following categories.  Have the child repeat the circuit 5-7 times, working on quality of movement or balance, rather than speed.

If wishing to concentrate on a specific body area or skill, choose 4 activities from that category and repeat 5 -7 times.

Movements Crossing Midline

  • 4 point crawl
  • Cross crawl sit ups (opposite hand/elbow goes to knee)
  • Cross crawl in stand (hand slaps opposite knee in march)
  • Lazy 8’s
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Angels in the Snow
  • Passing a ball or similar object around in a circle
  • Large alphabet letters in the air with both hands
  • Hand play clapping games with a partner


  • Line walks – forward, backward, sideways
  • Heel toe line walks
  • Slow steps over soft toys (say name or color of toy)
  • Walk on a curvy rope
  • 1 foot balance
  • Eyes closed balance
  • Squats with feet together, leaning against a ball on the wall
  • Large ball sitting have child reach each hand all directions slowly
  • Rising off floor from kneel to stand slowly
  • Balancing stuffed toy on feet while lying on back
  • Throwing/catching toy with feet
  • Marching while singing a song – keep knees high


Core Strength

  • Don’t crack the Egg
  • Roll like a log
  • V sit ups –hold toy overhead in lying, pass to feet
  • High 5 sit ups
  • Superman – lie on tummy on a pillow
  • Sit on floor, place small stuffed toys in low basket with feet
  • Kneel walks forward, backward-carry objects


Arm Strength/Shoulder Stability

  • Wheelbarrow, crabwalks, donkey kicks, bear walk, scooter
  • Prone on elbows to read or do a small activity
  • Pushing against adult’s hands; make a snowman
  • Heavy Lifting: help with yard work, groceries or emptying garbage cans

Leg Strength

  • Climbing on playground equipment
  • Walks on hills, uneven ground
  • Running: do short sprints of 10 sec while out for a walk
    • teach how to pump arms and teach “fast feet” (to go faster keep strides short & fast vs longer)
  • Stair step ups-stand @ bottom of stairs, step up with one foot then back down 10 x. Repeat with other foot
    • progress to 2 stairs, always coming back to bottom
  • Lunges – large step, touch back knee to floor. Repeat other leg
    • - walk around 3-5 times alternating each leg forward
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