At four years old, most toddlers can complete the following gross motor skills:
- Run around obstacles
- Walk on a line
- Balance on one foot for five to ten seconds
- Hop on one foot
- Push, pull and steer wheeled toys
- Ride a tricycle
- Use a slide independently
- Jump over six inch high object and land on both feet together
- Throw a ball overhead
- Catch a bouncing ball
Tips to Help Develop Gross Motor Skills for Four Year Olds
You can help with early child development. Suggested play to help a child between three and four years develop gross motor skills:
- Make a parade. Show your child how to march like a member of the band with its knees up high. If you have a drum or flag, that’s great. Then get a friend, or even the dog, to join you as you march around the house.
- Start a kangaroo family. Mommy and Daddy kangaroo can start by jumping with both feet together. Invite your little kangaroo to follow you as you jump and jump.
- Play Simon Says. Simon says touch your toes. Simon says pat your head. Simon says shake your body. Pat your knees. Oh, did Simon say to pat your knees?
- Get ready for the Super Bowl. Show your toddler how to kick a football. Place a cardboard box on its side and encourage your child to kick the ball into the box. Remember to yell, “touchdown” when he/she gets the ball in the box.
- Play some basketball. Take that same box and put it on a chair. Show your child how to throw overhand and cheer as he/she tries to get the ball into the basket.
- It’s time to take off! Turn your back yard into an airport. Have your child and a friend pretend to be airplanes with their arms outstretched. When it’s time to land, they must slow down and bend over.
- Create an obstacle course. Have your child follow you as you walk up the stairs, stop to sit on the bed, then walk on all fours around a table. To do this outside, place a cooler in the center of the yard and a lawn chairs or two. Have your child follow you as you weave through the objects.
- Play catch. Toss a soft ball to your child while standing relatively close. Slowly take a step back as he/she gets better, until you’re about 5 to 6 feet away.
- Play freeze. Turn on some music and have your child and some friends dance. When you stop the music, they must stop moving and ‘freeze’ in their last position. When the music starts, they can start moving again.
- Aim for red. Place three different colored towels on the ground. Have your child toss plastic lids from coffee cans to the different towels. It the red one is farthest away, see if it can toss its lid to that one.
- Practice the high jump. Place a block on the ground. Can your child jump over it and land with two feet at the same time? Now add a block, and another. How many blocks can your child jump over?