|Babies||Walkers 2||2s to 3s||3s to 4s|
Overview and benefit
Gross co-ordination refers to the simultaneous movements of different larger parts of the body, for example using their two arms, or legs, or head and hands etc. Gross Co-ordination is the coordination which are involved in whole-body actions. It is an important component of physical fitness.
There are lots of types of movement of these large muscle that children need to develop:
- bilateral – moving two limbs in the same way at the same time, e.g. when clapping, jumping, rolling a rolling-pin, rowing
- alternating – moving one limb and then another e.g. walking, skipping, swing arms back and front alternatively, crawling
- cross body – moving limbs in such a way that the limb cross the mid-line of the body (the line from your nose down your centre) e.g. swinging your arms from one side to the other, crossing your feet, touching your left shoulder with your right hand.
- contrasting – moving two limbs in a different way simultaneously e.g. patting your head whilst rubbing your tummy,
- Two to three weeks
How it works
Children are encouraged to move in different ways that require co-ordination by pretending to be different animals.
What to do in the class
Each week choose a couple of animals from the following and put on an appropriate piece of music. Explain that your animal has a very distinct way of moving and that you are going to try and move around the room like that. Choose from:
- A crab – ask the children to hold their hands up like crab claws and that the crab only can move sideward, stepping with one foot to the side and then bringing the other foot to meet it. (possible music track – Under the Sea)
- An elephant – ask the children to bend over slightly and hold one arm out in front of their face like an elephant trunk. Get them to swing their trunk from side to side. Now ask the children to take big slow steps forward while swinging their arm and move around the room.
- A rabbit – ask the children to put the hands on their heads to form bunny ears and to flap them. Now ask the children to jump up and down like a rabbit and move around the room like that whilst continuing to flapping their ears.
- A dog – ask the children to get the on all fours and walk like a dog (possible music track – Who Let the Dogs Out)
- A horse – ask the children to gallop like a horse
- A penguin – ask the children to put their arms straight down to their sides and flap them stiffly like penguin wings. Ask the children to shuffle their feet in tiny steps whilst flapping their penguin wings
“Move Like A…” – This is a simple circle time game that will not take a lot of time and is a favourite of many preschoolers. It will help children practice galloping skills as well as many other gross motor skills and is also an imaginative game that can exercise creativity. Before children arrive for the day, cut out several different pictures of animals from magazines such as horses, cats, rabbits, fish, turtles, etc. Place these pictures in a large bowl and allow each child to pick an animal from the bowl one at a time. Give yourself lots of room and allow children to interpret the movements of the different animals. Be sure to give names to the movements you are performing. For example, “Ryan picked the horse! Let’s all gallop like a horse!” or “Lauren picked the rabbit! Show me how we all hop like rabbits.
Adaptations for older/younger children
What to do in a nursery setting
|Henry the Hermit Crab||Ed Jordan & Alan Glass||Beautiful Creatures of the Sea|
|Gallop Away||Tessarose||Sing a Song Volume 2|
|Saint-Saëns: Carnival Of The Animals – 5. The Elephant||Camille Saint-Saëns||Classical Highlights Vol.1|
|The Bunny Hop||The Easter Tales||Easter Party Music|
|Who Let The Dogs Out||Baha Men||Pop Jr 2|
|How Much Is That Doggie In The Window – Patti Page||Various Artists||K-tel Presents It’s Party Time|
|Polly Penguin||MAD Academy||MAD Academy|
|Harry Horse||MAD Academy||MAD Academy|
There are many animal tracks you can use for this but here are some suggested from Itunes:-