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"Movement is a part of children’s lives from the very moment they are born. Children obtain joy and happiness through movement and it is proven that prime learning and growth comes by and through movement." (Andress,1991).

Gross motor skills are those which require large stabilising muscles of the body to perform everyday functions. It also requires hand-eye coordination and body awareness. Development across gross motor skills is important for children so that they can perform everyday functions, such as walking, climbing, running and jumping, as well as participate in playground and sporting skills, such as throwing or kicking a ball, jumping through hoops, skipping, and climbing through obstacles.

Young boys playing on toy pigs in the Tightrope Learning classroom

Gross Motor Activities at Tightrope Learning

Across each session at Tightrope Learning, it is imperative that each child is exposed and encouraged to participate in a gross motor activity. This not only works towards building these skills to perform everyday functions, but also acts as a ‘movement break’ by getting the whole body moving so that children can transition between academic activities. This helps to keep the child engaged and motivated throughout the whole session.

Young boy playing and practicing gross motor skills in the Tightrope Learning classroom

A few examples of gross motor activities at Tightrope include:

  • Obstacle courses

  • Ball games such as throwing and catching, ‘over’ & ‘under’

  • Dancing

  • Yoga (balance and coordination)

  • Bean bag tossing

  • Duck Duck Goose

  • Parachute

  • Freeze

  • Building blocks

  • Crawling and rolling

It is important that children understand how their bodies can move and develop all those little muscles so that they can be safe when participating in physical activities. These activities also teach the children skills like teamwork, turn taking, following instructions, slowing their bodies down and speeding them up again.

Young children play with hoops in the Tightrope Learning classroom

Tightrope too provides a range of equipment, such as large, soft block play and climbing frames, which allow for freedom of movement in a safe space to experiment with balance, coordination, and preventative ‘risk taking’ when pushing themselves out of their spatial boundaries. Tightrope also provides a range of to allow children the opportunity to decide how THEY want to play.

About OT Tuesday and the author, Elly Rooney.

Our very own Elly Rooney is currently studying Occupational Therapy at The Australian Catholic University.

Elly has been a part of the Tightrope Learning Team now for 4 years and has built such beautiful relationships with the children and their families. Her passion for what she does, coupled with her genuine love of children, has directed her focus towards Paediatric OT.

Tightrope team member Elly Rooney
OT Tuesdays Author: Elly Rooney

Elly is an absolute gift to Tightrope Learning. She brings along a wealth of fresh knowledge and resources and works closely with all the children in her care.

Elly has now decided to write a blog for us each week, to be known as “OT Tuesday”. Be sure to read this each week to learn more about how to help your own special little one.

The content of this post is for general purposes only. Always seek individual guidance from your healthcare professional regarding any medical condition you may have.

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