6 Gross Motor Skills Play Activities for Indoor Fun

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6 Gross Motor Skills Play Activities for Indoor Fun

December 14, 2021
posted by Kate Fahrenbach

It’s that time of year again! The air is crisp, the days are getting shorter, and childhood energy is up. Playing outdoors in the winter is a blast, but what can we do when we can’t get outside to play? Keep kids busy and active with the following indoor gross motor activities. Happy playing!


Spider Web Toss.

Materials: painter’s tape and balled up newspaper.

      spider web illustration

  1. Using painter’s tape, create a spider web to span the width of an open doorway. Pro tip: start the “web” on the top half of the doorway so children are not tempted to run through it.  
  2. Scrunch old newspaper pages into balls.
  3. Throw balls at the web to see if they stick like flies in a spider web.


Polar Bear Paw Prints

Materials: construction paper, markers or crayons and painter’s tape.

     paw illustrations

  1. With a parent’s help, cut  5-6 giant polar bear paws from construction paper. 
  2. For older children, write a fun fact about polar bears on each paw to practice writing and reading.
  3. Tape the paws to the floor about 6-12 inches apart.
  4. Kids can turns hopping from paw to paw around the room or pretend to swim across paws .
  5. For added fun, create a cave by draping a blanket or large piece of butcher paper over a table. Kids can crawl inside or through the polar bear’s cave.


Let’s Get Moving Cards

Materials: cardboard or heavy card stock paper, markers or crayons.

     cards with movement ideas

  1. On each card, write an activity that can be acted out. If your family is feeling creative, draw or cut out pictures for each activity to glue onto the card.
  2. Have children take turns choosing a card and acting out the chosen activity.

Movement ideas:

  • Twirl like a snowflake
  • Freeze like an icicle
  • Fall like snow
  • Melt like a snowman
  • Stomp like snow boots
  • Glide like a skater
  • Waddle like a penguin
  • Prance like a reindeer
  • Slide like a sled
  • Hibernate like a bear
  • Swim like a polar bear
  • Make a snow angel


Snowball Games

Materials: indoor snowballs made from balled up socks, newspaper, store bought pom poms or snowballs.

     snowballs in mittens

Game ideas:

  1. Kids should take turns tossing snowballs into a bucket. Use a piece of tape for kids to stand behind to ensure they are tossing from the same distance.
  2. Create a cardboard snowman with an open mouth. Children can take turns tossing snowballs into his mouth.
  3. Line up a few laundry baskets.Number each basket with a marker and tape or sticky note. Kids can practice counting build gross motor skills by taking turns tossing that number of snowballs into each basket.
  4. Line up cups andtoss the snowballs into the cups.
  5. Like bowling, stack plastic cups and toss snowballs to knock over the stack.

Butcher Paper Floor Mural

Materials: large roll of butcher or white paper, markers, paint, crayons or colored pencils.

     paper and paints

  1. Roll the paper out across the floor in an open space in your house.
  2. Choose a theme and start by sketching out a few objects, figures, or shapes. Create an ongoing scene and add a little more to it every day.
  3. Children are laying on their tummies and crawling from spot to spot while drawing. They will be using different muscles to move around and work on the scene.
  4. When the scene is complete, add details like people, cars, and animals to keep the play going.


Big Box Block Building

     boxes stacked activity

  1. Gather large and medium sized boxes (hint: reuse delivery boxes!)
  2. Tape the boxes closed to avoid sharp corners or pointy edges.
  3. Kids should use their imagination and build away! Their imaginations may take them to  an igloo, a cozy winter house, a holiday store, faraway castle, or even Sant’s Sleigh.


Keeping kids active and creative this winter doesn’t have to be complicated. Gross motor play activities for preschoolers can be simple and oh so much fun!