Ways to Encourage Physical Development at Home

Why is physical development so important?

  • Gross and fine motor skills are essential for everyday activities in our lives.
  • Foundational motor skills are the basis for development of more complex fine and gross motor skills
  • Well developed motor skills will set them up for success at school.

Benefits to you and your child.

  • Having well developed motor skills builds confidence in your child.
  • It makes them eager to learn other things.
  • It prepares them for learning

Good gross and fine motor skills to have before Prep

  • Sitting on the floor cross legged or at a desk without fatiguing.
  • Being able to manage self care skills independently
  • Well developed arm and core strength for sitting and writing
  • Being able to hold a pencil confidently
  • Being able to hold scissors correctly and confidently

How to encourage gross and fine motor development at home.

This is a list of practical things to do with your child. Some of them are possibly things you do or know already but our goal is that this inspires you to make gross and fine motor development a part of your everyday lives.

Things to do with your children – fine motor

  • Puzzles, wooden puzzles with interesting shaped pieces are best.
  • Threading activities such as making pasta necklaces or sewing cards.
  • Building with blocks or Lego.
  • Drawing and painting
    • Put paper on the wall, on the floor or stuck on the underside of a table for a different experience
    • Chalk drawing on the driveway
    • Water painting, finger painting, eye dropper painting
  • Craft activities, allow your child to create out of recycled β€˜junk’.
  • Play clapping games together.
  • Musical instruments
  • Make games with tweezers, picking up pompoms or beads.
  • Blow bubbles.
  • Make a tinkering table where children can use screwdrivers to pull apart old electronics.
  • Make up games with newspaper, tearing strips, rolling into balls
  • Playdough and clay, either by itself or with equipment such as
    • Rolling pins, cookie cutters
    • Scissors, knives
    • Baking trays, muffin tins, bowls
    • Beads or gems for decorating
  • Daily activities and self-care skills such as:
    • Getting dressed and undressed
    • Doing and undoing buttons
    • Using zips
    • Setting the table with cutlery
    • Opening containers and packets
    • Using cutlery
    • Using the toilet and washing hands
    • Cleaning teeth
    • Blowing nose

Things to do with your children – gross motor

  • Take your child to lots of different parks and playgrounds, encourage them to try new equipment.
  • Get your child a balance bike, scooter or trike, let them ride around your house and take them to local park or a skate park.
  • Have swings in your garden or visit a park with swings regularly.
  • Build a sandpit, visit the beach or a park with a sandpit.
  • Encourage your child to be involved in gardening, digging holes for plants, watering, weeding etc.
  • Play games outdoors such as Simon Says or Freeze
  • Encourage your child to climb trees, google to find the best tree climbing parks in your city or neighbourhood.
  • Let your child walk up and downstairs by themselves, this may take longer but is an important developmental milestone.
  • Play with balls of varying sizes or scarves.
  • Explore balloons and bubbles.
  • Take your child swimming or enroll them in swimming lessons.
  • Have a dance party!


  • Let your child see you being active.
  • Talk to them about your favourite sports and activities.
  • Show them when something is hard (like threading a needle) and how you have to keep persisting.

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