Fun Kinesthetic Games to Improve Gross Motor and Perceptual Skills
This 81-page digital download includes 5 different games and activities you can print and play:
- Dance Moves: offers a fun rhythm oriented way for a child to develop motor planning skills, and bilateral motor coordination while practicing laterality.
- Toe Typing: presents a creative movement game for children to practice balance, body scheme, academic skills and more!
- Bunny Hop: offers an engaging way for children to practice skills such as balance, motor planning, sequencing, and right-left discrimination.
- Treasure Map: presents a fun movement oriented activity that teaches children the concepts of laterality and directionality, as well as spatial relationships and position in space.
- Street Smarts: offers an imaginative way to help children learn laterality and directionality skills.
Many children have difficulty developing a mature body scheme. This skill plays an essential role in helping children understand how their body moves in relation to their environment so that they can coordinate and sequence new motor skills. Children with a poor body scheme often appear clumsy because they have not developed an internal concept of where their body is in space. They may have difficulty using two sides of the body in a coordinated manner or have delays in developing hand or foot dominance. It is often difficult for these children to remember their right from their left, which makes following directional cues frustrating. It can be hard for them to judge distances when organizing their written work on the page, which often leads to illegible printing. These children also have difficulty with reversing letters or numbers such as b, d, 6 or 9, or will not sequence the order of letters or numbers correctly such as writing “hte” instead of “the”, or “386” instead of “836”.
Children integrate knowledge more fully when they can experience it in a fun and meaningful manner. Each of the movement oriented therapeutic activities included in this book addresses components that are important for the development of a mature body scheme. Instructions, a list of
targeted skills, pictures, and cue cards are included for each of the games.
Suggestions are provided on how these activities can be adapted for various
developmental levels. The games can be set up to be played at home, or in
the classroom as an inclusive sensory break with peers. The activities can
also be adapted to target core curriculum. Watch your children experience
how fun it can be to improve their skills!
About the Author Mary Moynihan
Ms. Mary Moynihan is a registered and board-certified occupational therapist with 38 years of experience in the field of pediatrics. She has worked in a variety of settings including developmental education centers, neonatal intensive care unit, early intervention and preschool settings, as well as public schools and clinics. Ms. Moynihan has taught Oral Motor Feeding Modules at the University of Pittsburgh and given in-services at public schools.
Ms. Moynihan completed her Bachelors in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University in 1979, and a Masters in Occupational Therapy from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997. She completed the Study of Sensory Integration Dysfunction courses and is certified to administer the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test. She also received Specialty Certification in Pediatric Occupational Therapy in 2002.
While working in the public schools, it became evident that many students have difficulty with the concept of body scheme, which is developmentally crucial for higher level skills such as using two sides of the body in a coordinated manner, hand dominance, and a variety of visual-spatial skills, including reversals. Students integrate knowledge more fully when they can experience concepts in a fun and meaningful manner in the classroom or home environment. She subsequently published the book, Fun Kinesthetic Games to Improve Gross Motor and Perceptual Skills to help teachers, and parents improve a child’s body image so they can become more successful learners.