Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Parenting Pointers: Fun Outdoor Activities to Help Your Child Develop Motor Skills this Spring

Springtime is finally here, and this means there’ll be more opportunities for your children to spend time developing critical motor skills in the great outdoors.

Yes, they may have enjoyed playing in the snow, sledding, and snowman-making during the cold weather season, but the warmer climes will allow for a wider range of fun activities that will help them develop skills that will serve them well from childhood through to adulthood.

Motor skills are obviously critical as they will determine how well your children can do everything from getting out of bed to brushing their teeth to exercising good eye-hand coordination.

Read on for a look at some fun outdoor activities to help your child develop motor skills this spring.

1. Tackle a Hill

The same snow-covered hills that were great for sledding during the winter can be great for hiking and climbing during the spring. When springtime has progressed to the point where the hills are no longer muddy, go hiking up and down some hills with your children. If the hills have uneven surfaces, all the better, since climbing and descending the hills will allow your children to build their strength and improve their balance.

2. Biking

Another fun outdoor activity that can help your children develop their motor skills is biking. Whether they can ride a bike with training wheels or without, biking will help to build coordination and strength, skills that will bode well for them at any age.

3. Playground

Your children can improve their motor skills and their social skills by playing at an outdoor playground. Whether they use the monkey bars, the slide, or the swings, your children will strengthen their muscles, build their endurance, and heighten their sensory awareness.

4. Organized Sports

Spring is a good time to get your children enrolled in sports. Basketball, soccer, and baseball are just some of the fun outdoor activities that will help your children to build strength, increase eye-hand coordination, and enhance balance skills. As an added bonus, they will learn about teamwork, leadership, and fair play -- all while enjoying fresh air.

5. Yard Work

After the winter, your yard might need a bit of maintenance -- especially if you didn’t quite get around to clearing up all the leaves during the fall season. The spring season will be the perfect time to get outdoors with your children and rake up leaves and dead grass as well as to prepare the garden for produce and flowers. Your children will develop their motor skills as they rake, gather up leaves, dig into the earth, and carry supplies around and about.

6. Water Fight

What kid will ever turn down a good water fight? Give your children water guns or water-filled spray bottles, and let the fun begin! They will use a lot of their different muscle groups as they run around the yard and  operate the water gun or or spraying bottle.

7. Fire Up the Barbeque

When the spring season warms up enough, how about firing up the barbeque to cook up your children’s favorite food? While they shouldn’t get too close to the fire at too early an age, there are things they can do to help get the meal together. Passing food, assembling chairs, and even setting out plates and cutlery will improve their fine motor skills as well as give them the satisfaction of contributing.

There are many fun outdoor activities to help your children develop motor skills this spring. Consider the aforementioned suggestions, and think up more ways that you can get your children outdoors this spring for engaging activities that will enable them to develop motor skills.

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