It’s the stormy season just about everywhere right now, and that means parents and teachers are scrambling to give their children an outlet for all their physical energy without going outside while also developing their gross motor skills. This isn’t easy especially if you are forced to stay inside day after day. These products make it easier to provide indoor gross motor work and some you might already have at home or in your classroom, the others should be on your wish lists for sure!
This list contains affiliate links.
You may not think of products like blocks or fort building toys as developing gross motor skills but they are, and they are wonderful products to include in free choice at preschool. Others like The Jungle Jumparoo and Plasma Cars are a wonderful recess replacement giving kids the more strenuous physical and the thrill of safe risk taking the same way a climber or slide outside might.
Do you have any of these products? I would love to hear how you use them in your home, home daycare, or preschool. Leave me a comment and share.
Jungle Jumparoo is safe for kids of all ages even adults. That is important for me as a preschool teacher because I play with my students and am often up on equipment with them pretending to be a pirate or monster or just having fun. The folks at Jungle Jumparoo have generously offered a $100 off coupon for you when you use the code -> NTFF100.
Hula Hoops are a great tool for any classroom. When kids are small, I use them as bases for hopping into and targets for bean bags. They are easy to store, and these classroom sets aren’t in your budget or you just have one kiddo at home you can get some at the dollar store.
Plasma Cars are perfect for preschool because they have no pedals. Pedalling is tricky and when the goal is to get extra energy out spending time on something so possibly frustrating defeats the purpose. Plasma cars allow kids to get right into playing.
Wheely Bugs are a great alternative for toddlers and young preschoolers. Like Plasma Cars they are without pedals and offer children a chance to get moving fast in a safe way. They are also pretty easy to store inside.
Gorilla Gym is my favorite! We bought this for my kids ( five and eight at the time) last year, and it was the smartest thing we did because not only did it help keep them from climbing the walls during a super wet winter, it helped them calm down during stress too. The swing and rings are favorites but we use all the attachments, and I do mean we, I use it all the time too!
Big Blocks are a must; they are a pain to store in a small classroom space but they are worth it because they are light, safe for classrooms where you don’t have the space to use ride-on toys or jungle gyms inside and they offer cognitive as well as gross motor benefits.
Crazy Forts have been one of our favorite toys for a long time. While I would love to have these for preschool, they are just too tricky for little guys, now that my youngest is six we use it all the time and she can do it all alone, but I would be a sell out if I told you these are good for preschool. They are great for school age kids at a daycare after school program or an elementary rainy day recess, though! Perfect for that age group.
Soft and Safe Balance Beam. You may have seen my super cheap and easy balance beam here which is great for one kiddo, but in a busy classroom, I wouldn’t use a 2×4! This is a wonderful product for classrooms and what I love about anything that focuses on balance is that it naturally focuses on concentration too.
Hop Balls require a lot of skill but even very young kids can do it and what is great is that while they work on all these developing skills like balance, spatial awareness, and gross motor skills they don’t need a huge amount of space. Most preschoolers won’t be bouncing far just yet.