With kids home for summer, and maybe home for the start of the school year, too, I’ve been thinking about different ways that I can incorporate some learning and development moments into our every day schedule while making them fun for the kids. One thing I know Sophie misses is recess. While recess is often an opportunity to let kids go outside and run off some of their energy, some of the organized games and activities that schools have kids do during recess are actually helpful for motor skill development. Here are a few easy things you can do with your five year old at home to help them practice some of those skills.
Fun Games For Five Year Olds To Build Motor Skills
- Racing Games: place a pile of bean bags or other small objects at one end of the yard. Have your kids start at the other end and race back and forth across the yard, bringing back one bean bag at a time.
- Jumping/Hopping Games: at this age, kids will refine their ability to jump with both feet and jump for longer periods of time on one foot.
- A classic game like hopscotch can help with this, have your kids alternate jumping on one foot and jumping with both feet (taking off and landing on both feet) for each square.
- Set up a backyard obstacle course with short objects they can practice jumping over with both feet (objects shouldn’t be more than 10 inches high).
- Have a hopping contest, start at one side of the road and see who can hop the furthest across the yard on one foot.
- Skipping: all kids develop at their own time, so some five year olds will have already mastered skipping, and others won’t get it until they are five and a half or nearing six. Skipping is a fun thing to add into a daily walk. Have your kids skip the distance between two mailboxes, then walk to the next one, and then skip again.
- Playing Catch: teach your kids how to throw both overhand and underhand and to catch a ball that is being thrown from 5-20 feet away. This is a fun activity for the whole family. You can throw from closer distances (or even roll the ball) for younger children to get them involved. You can also set up a target that your five year old can use to practice hitting a stationary target with a ball from 12 feet away.
Work these activities into your day, and you will build great memories with your kids, help them get out some energy so they sleep well at night, and encourage healthy motor skill development.
Jessica — Mom of Sophie & Jake