Add this fun gross motor jumping game into your classroom or therapy routine this Valentine’s Day!
Heart Jump: A gross motor jumping game
My baby boy (well, he’s six but he’s still my baby!) loves to jump!! He needs absolutely no practice with jumping forward and backward, up and down, or side to side.
However, controlling his body during varying sequences of jumps is a different story. I thought it would be fun to string together a few different jumping gross motor activities using hearts for our Valentine’s Day theme.
What You’ll Need:
-Construction paper hearts
-Heart card printable (cut into strips by following the dotted lines)
What to do:
Gather up some construction paper and cut out about 10 hearts. Or have kids trace and cut out those hearts for themselves! Try to make the hearts big enough that both of your child’s feet can fit on them. Have kids cut on the dotted lines on the printable to make them into individual strips.
Give your child the first card. Tell him to arrange the hearts on the floor exactly as he sees them on the card. This is a great visual motor and visual perceptual task.
Once the hearts are on the floor, ask him to jump through the hearts as shown on the cards. Continue working through all of the cards, rearranging the hearts as necessary. Can he arrange the hearts correctly? Can he maintain control of his body in space?
How to change it up:
-Place the hearts so the child has to jump over objects to get to the next one.
-Make it a race between kids to see who set up the hearts the fastest and make it through the jump sequence without falling off their hearts.
-Place math problems on each heart that must be answered before he can move on, adding a cognitive component and increasing how difficult it is to maintain body control.
-Use all of the cards together to create a giant, jumping obstacle course!
For Virtual Sessions:
Ask the parent/caregiver to prepare several large heart shapes ahead of time – or have kids draw and cut out their own hearts! Show the child the printable heart strips on screen and have them set up their paper hearts to match the picture. Then, have them jump next to the hearts in the direction that they’re pointing.