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As the temperature drops and the days are getting shorter, it can be a bit challenging to play outside and burn off energy.
But incorporating physical activity into your child’s day is important. Preschoolers need at least 180 minutes of physical activity each day, while kids aged five to 17 need 60 minutes of mild to moderate exercise a day.
This Fall Tree Activity is a fun indoor activity that will get your kids off the couch and moving!
The activity is perfect for indoor play and is quite quick and easy to set up, which is always a win in my books!
So whether it’s rainy, snowy, or even too hot to go to the park or play in the backyard, this fun Gross Motor Fall Tree Activity is a great way to get everyone in the family giggling and away from the screens for a bit!
What are Gross Motor Skills?
Gross motor skills are those which require whole-body movement and involve movements of the large muscles of the arms, legs, and torso to perform everyday functions, such as standing and walking, running and jumping, and sitting upright at the table.
We use gross motor skills to do everyday things that involve our large muscles, from exercising to raking leaves. Most people use these skills easily and automatically but gross motor skills are more complex than you might think.
Gross motor skills are related to other abilities. These include:
- Body awareness
- Physical strength
- Reaction time
Kids rely on gross motor skills for everyday activities at school, at home, and in the community. Imagine what gym class, recess, or playdates are like for a child with weak gross motor skills. These challenges can impact a child’s self-esteem and social life.
Why are Gross Motor Skills Important?
Gross motor skills are used every day throughout our lives, like when we’re walking and running, playing at the playground or sporting.
However, gross motor skills are crucial for everyday self-care skills like
- Dressing – where you need to be able to stand on one leg to put your leg into a pant leg without falling over
- Climbing into and out of a car
- Getting into and out of bed
Gross motor abilities also have an influence on other everyday functions. For example, affect their ability to:
- Fine motor skills (e.g. writing, drawing, and cutting)
- Sitting upright at a desk
- Go up a sloped playground hill
- Get on and off a moving escalator
Without fair gross motor skills, a child will struggle with many day-to-day tasks such as eating, packing away their toys, and getting onto and off the toilet or potty.
What is Gross Motor Activities?
Gross motor activities are those that require your child to use large movements using their arms, legs, or the entire body, for example:
- Go up and down slides
- Catch/Throw a ball
- Ride a bike
- Walk on a line
- Kick a ball
- and more!
All of these activities are continuous sources of fun that help children improve: muscle strength, eye-hand coordination, balance, body control, body rhythm, bilateral coordination, and spatial awareness.
How to Make this Gross Motor Fall Tree Activity
This fall sensory bin is easy to put together using items you may already have around your home and yard.
The bin is full of items that remind us of the colors, scents, and symbols of autumn. To set up this fun fall sensory bin experience, first, you’ll want to gather your materials.
What You Need:
1. Start by rolling out your kraft paper and cut out a large stem of your tree.
2. Hang your tree on the wall using double-sided tape.
3. Roll out your contact paper and cut out your treetop.
4. Tape the treetop to the wall, with the sticky side of the contact paper out.
5. Invite your child to add leaves to the contact paper to create a full tree crown.
How to Play with the Fall Tree Activity
- Start by going on a nature walk to collect leaves (this is a great way to extend the fun!) or cut out leaves from brown, yellow, and red paper.
- Challenge your child to vary the way he/she jumps.
- How high can they jump?
- How high can they attach leaves?
- Can they jump on just one foot and attach leaves?
- Add some red or green pom poms to the tree and create an apple tree!
- Challenge your child to experiment with what other items they can put on the sticky paper. Will the item stick or fall down?
- Allow your child to play with the fall tree and leaves without getting discouraged. They’re getting plenty of both fine motor and gross motor practice as they move around the leaves and play.
Want more fun autumn ideas? Be sure to check out this list of +20 Fun Fall Activities for Kids to Do This Autumn and this Easy Paper Plate Apple Craft That Will Get Kids Excited For Fall!
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