indoor play,  large motor play,  Winter

Large motor activities that can be done indoors

Winter.  The one word that strikes fear into the heart of preschool teachers everywhere.  cold winter days seem so much longer because the kids don’t have the opportunity to run around outside.  At three, four, or five years old, the opportunity to run wild is a necessity.  Kiddos can only sit for so long before they get restless, it’s normal and completely natural, but it makes teaching them so much more difficult!

During the winter I make sure to give my students just as much time for active motor games that I do during the rest of the year, but these activities have to be a little more structured because of safety concerns associated with being indoors, and the fact that we don’t want to bother the children in the classroom next door.

Here is a list of some of my favorite large motor games to play inside:


  • Free dance to different kinds of music
  • Dancing with ribbon wands, colored scarves, or crepe paper streamers
  • Freeze dancing (when the music stop the children have to freeze)
  • Interpretive dancing (dance like a…)
  • Movement songs (songs that have instructions for the children to follow, like those by Greg and Steve, Dr. Jean, etc.)
Relay Games
  • Pass the ball (have children pass different sized balls down the line different ways – i.e. between their knees, over their shoulder, etc.)
  • Crab walking
  • Hopping (on 2 feet and on 1 foot)
  • Walking backwards
  • Carrying a cotton ball on a spoon
Coordination Games
  • Balancing different objects on your head (a piece of paper, a book, a block, etc.)
  • Bean Bag toss
  • Obstacle courses using classroom furniture
  • Climbing over/under streamer obstacle courses
Balloon Games
  • Balloon tennis (use paper plates as rackets)
  • the Name Game (Write each child’s name on a balloon, they can only play with the balloon that has their name on it)
  • Balloon letter recognition (write different letters all over the balloon, the children have to name the letters that their hands cover when they catch the balloon)
  • Laundry basket soccer or basketball
This list should keep your kiddos busy for a while!

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