This is the perfect time of year for a walk in the woods! A fall hike is the perfect time to work in some fun gross motor skill activities and the sensory experiences are amazing — the smells (fireplaces burning, decomposing leaves), the sounds (crunching leaves underfoot, leaves gently raining down from trees, squirrels bounding about), the feel of the crisp, cool air and the colors…the oranges and reds and yellows!
We had a gorgeous fall afternoon this weekend and we made the best of it with a hike. Here are a few of the fun things we tried along the way:
1 || Tree bark crayon rubbings – Great for those grasping skills, along with fine motor and visual motor development – and fun for any age!
2 || Walking on fallen trees – An awesome way to work on balance! Try waking across fast or slow – or even try standing on one foot!
3 || Walking like Spider Man on a fence – How long can you hold on while making your way sideways and up and down on a fence?
4 || Racing up a hill – Great for endurance and strength!
5 || Swinging on vines – Such a fabulous vestibular processing experience for little ones and also a great way to promote strength.
6 || Playing hide and seek – An easy way to work on social skill development and get kids up and moving along that trail.
7 || Stepping over sticks while walking on the fallen trees – Again, a fun and easy way to work on balance.
8 || Jumping over sticks – Grab a partner and get going with those jumping skills!
9 || Creating masterpieces with leaves – Make a pretty design, spell a word or your name and leave it for others to enjoy on their hikes (if the wind doesn’t blow them away like it did to ours shortly after we took this picture!)
We were able to work on pretty much every aspect of motor development while taking a family walk in the woods. And, the best part was, the kids had NO idea they were working so hard! They were just having fun! What fun activities have you invented on everyday walks with your kids that have hidden motor benefits like the ones here? Share them by commenting below!
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Fine motor skills, gross motor skills, balance, coordination, motor control, cognitive skills, strength, endurance, and proprioception.
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