How Can A Therapeutic Preschool Program Improve Gross Motor Skills?

Throughout the stages of early childhood development, there are many important milestones for motor skills. Many daily activities require the use of fine and gross motor skills. Gross motor skills require the use of large muscle groups in the body and are used in skills such as walking, jumping, running, or crawling, while fine motor skills require the use of small muscle groups and are used in skills such as writing. If a child is experiencing delays in either their fine or gross motor skills, a therapeutic preschool that offers occupational therapy services may be an excellent fit. If the delays are significant, children may require additional occupational therapy sessions outside of a therapeutic preschool program.

A therapeutic preschool program may incorporate exercises to improve gross motor skills in their daily schedule. Here are some examples of activities:

Gross motor room: Some therapeutic preschool programs create a gross motor room that specifically targets these skills. The room might have equipment that allows children to jump, climb, and play while also developing their gross motor skills. These might include foam climbing gyms, for example.

Hopscotch: This is a simple activity we all played as young children, probably without realizing that it can greatly help gross motor skills. Spending a few minutes with a child in a therapeutic preschool playing hopscotch can help improve gross motor skills and coordination.

Lava game: On rainy days growing up, many of us played the “lava game,” where the floor was lava, forcing you to hop between surfaces (avoiding the floor). This also actually improves gross motor skills.

Circuits: Having children do circuits of jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and other activities is a great way to help children work on gross motor skills in a therapeutic preschool program. These activities are also fun, so it does not feel like they are doing “therapy.”

If there are certain strategies that work well for a child in a therapeutic preschool program, it can be helpful for the teacher to share these strategies with the parents. This way, the child is able to practice these strategies at home with their parents.

To learn more about how therapeutic preschool programs can help your child develop gross motor skills, contact CST Academy at 773-620-7800. We provide a therapeutic environment that helps children improve their gross motor skills in areas where they may have some deficits. Our team of top-notch, knowledgeable therapists intervene to help children increase their confidence with gross motor activities, enhance their self-esteem, and help develop the strength and endurance needed to manage their everyday physical needs.