How to Build Gross Motor Skills in the Classroom

  Although there is never enough time to fit everything into the day so how to build gross motor skills in the classroom seems like a daunting task. When you have students that slump in chairs, fall over nothing, or even fall out of chairs, the problem could be gross motor skills! Say what?!? Let’s start with what are gross motor skills?
teachmagically gross motor skillsWhat are Gross Motor Skills?
•Major muscle co-ordination
Body awareness –posture and control
Balance –ability to adjust the body symmetrically
Spatial orientation –awareness of how their body is positioned in space and in
relation to other objects or people
Crossing of the midline –opposite from one side of the body to the other

Lateral Skills –awareness of the left and right sides of the body

How can you build gross motor skills in the classroom?

All things considered, you could do a few fun things during transitions and skill practice to help build gross motor skills because there is not enough time during recess and physical education classes. Grab FREE Gross and Fine Motor Ideas.


gross motor

1. Lay on Belly

While watching videos, playing games, working on computers, or hearing books let kiddos lay on the floor. Surprisingly, it is very difficult for some students so be sure to watch to see who sits up first! Obviously, those kiddos a need a LOT of practice. So check out this post about Brain Research for other ways to help with learning.

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2. Crab Walk

Instead of walking, kiddos can crab walk or bear crawl around the room. Surely, it will also help slow down those kiddos that like to run! Just be sure to have small groups go at one time. Subsequentially, everyone at once can be a mess!

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3. Push Up Hold

Especially for any practice, do push up and hold, just like planks! After all, who doesn’t love a plank!  If you do it with them, you get your exercise in for the day! 🤣


As a matter of fact, you can practice counting, spelling words, math facts, names of planets, etc. Give it a try! How long until the burn when you say the ABC’s in a plank? I start to shake at about e! 


4. Movement to Songs

Also add movements to songs you sing. Check out the movement we use to say the alphabet. Fun Ways to Teach Letters and Sounds.

5. Kneel to Write and Color

During writing or coloring, have the kiddos work in a kneeling position. It works so many muscles. Be sure there is no sitting back on the legs. Although this is difficult because of the stabilization, students think it’s fun!

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6. Provide Opportunities to Move

Whenever you can, think about ways to make your kiddos move and learn at the same time. I lay out numbers, students roll a dice (build numeration) and jump to the correct number. They love it. You can check my FREE dice jump game here.
Students that are more advanced use 2 dice and the numbers change from 2-12. Check out Number Sense Addition Facts Game; it has dice number cards as an extra bonus.


In conclusion, don’t forget about recess! Climbing, running, and jumping are great ways to build gross motor skills! Do not skip this time because you feel like there are so many academic skills to hit!
teachmagically grossmotor
Make everyday magical,
💖Debora from Teach Magically


This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Erica

    Love this! These ideas would be so simple to integrate into my daily routines!

    1. Debora Marines

      Thanks Erica!

  2. Julie Davis

    So many great ideas and so easy to implement! Thanks 🙂

    1. Debora Marines

      You are very welcome, Julie!

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