5 Motor Planning Activities that Improve Coordination
Are you looking for some exciting activities to try that can help improve coordination and adaptability?
The following ideas are guaranteed fun, and they can help develop motor planning skills for all who participate. For a quick refresher on motor planning and why it’s important, check out part one of the Gymnastics NSW motor planning series
Whether your child picks up new skills quickly, or can be a little slower or clumsy, the great news is there are plenty of ways to improve motor planning, especially for children who are still growing and forming connections between brain and body.
Engaging in motor planning to pick up skills leads to greater confidence in kids as they interact with the world.
5 activities for motor planning
Turn your home into a jungle, lake or beach and race around like animals. Slither like a snake, crawl like a bear, jump like a frog, hop like a bunny and stalk like a lion! For an extra challenge, put some masking tape onto the floor and have your child follow the line until they reach the end.
This activity gives your child a chance to move in different ways, with increasing difficulty by following a set starting and end point to navigate their body while maintaining the form of their chosen animal.
Floor is Lava!
Pretend the floor is lava and get your child to cross from one area in your home to another without touching the ground. Use items to build a way across, such as chairs, cushions, and carboard boxes, perhaps some blankets as safe rocks and a laundry basket to ‘row’ through the lava.
There are two great kids’ songs too for little ones – The Floor is Lava by The Kiboomers and Floor is Lava by Jack Hartmann.
Grab a ball (or a few) of knitting yarn, or some extra long rope, and find a space with a few ‘anchors’ and create a 3D maze for your child to cross through! For some added fun, loop a keyring with a toy attached and set a task of getting the toy from one end to the other – weaving in and out of the maze along the way!
Note: This activity is not suitable for toddlers who can easily get tangled in string and children should be supervised at all times.
Write down animals, objects or actions on pieces of paper and take turns drawing one out and acting out what is written/drawn. The other person has to guess what’s on the paper and no talking is allowed!
How does this help with motor planning? Well, it embodies the very act: to conceive, plan and execute an unfamiliar movement.
Gymnastics classes – where the experts lead the way
Motor planning activities and skills are a vital part of gymnastics – the home of fundamental movement. The combination of consistency and adaptability required to perform or learn something new are transferrable to other skills outside the gym too!
Some of the best ways expert gymnastics coaches help their athletes are to break down tasks into steps and give gymnasts lots of chances to master each step before building on it.
In addition, the concept of fading support is a great way coaches support athletes to gain skills by providing maximum assistance and gradually reducing it over time.
These are two techniques you can try at home with kids – just make sure the skill (anything from buttoning a shirt to riding a skateboard) is something you can confidently do yourself!
Want to have fun, improve coordination and lots more? Sign up to gymnastics today!