Give your Child Daily Opportunities to Use Large Muscles

Collect safe toys and equipment to help you child develop large muscles.

  • Empty plastic water bottles to use as bowling pins.
  • Make beanbags by partially filling a sock with beans and tying a knot in the sock.


  • Tricycle to steer and pedal.


  • Balls for throwing, catching and bouncing (9 to 12 inch rubber balls).

    Let your child spend time outdoors and have space and freedom to use large muscles.

    • Have a safe outdoor place for your child to run and play.
    • Let your child pedal a tricycle outdoors.
    • Hang a basketball hoop low enough so your child can successfully “make a basket”.


    Join your child in active play.

    • Play toss and catch with your child.
    • Set up an obstacle course and encourage your child to steer a tricycle through it.
    • Draw a hopscotch pattern on your patio or driveway.  Show your child how to hop the pattern.  Let your child hop according to their ability.
    • Recall singing games from your childhood such as the “Hokey Pokey” and involve your child and other family members in playing the game.


    Give your child opportunities to use large muscles indoors.

    • Invite your child to toss beanbags or bean socks into a basket, or a masking tape circle on the floor.
    • Put rolled up socks or bean socks in a small basket. Let your child try balancing the basket on their head while walking.
    • Create and obstacle course in a room with space for moving.  Include a taped line to walk on, a table to crawl under, chairs to crawl through, a book to jump over, and a large box t crawl through.
    • Suggest that your child move like different animals: hop like a rabbit, slither like a snake, crawl like a bug and fly like a bird.


    Additional Ideas: Play a CD or tape and invite your child to move to the music.  Try different ones to find your child’s favorite.  Join your child in moving to the music.  Check with a music store to see if they carry children’s tapes or CDS that are intended to encourage children to move and use their large muscles.


    Websites for more information:




    Activities you can do with your child:

    ·  Teach your child the “ABC” song.

    ·  Have your child tell a story to a family member.

    ·  Help your child draw a picture of your family members.

    ·  For one week, look for things that are brown.

    ·  Make a necklace using dental floss and cereal like Cheerios.

    ·  Help your child begin to learn their address.

    ·  Put on some dance music and dance with your family.

    ·  Exercise with your child. Count the number of circles or hops.

    ·  Ask your child to help set the table and count the items.

    ·  Have your child draw a picture or write a note to a family member about something for which they are thankful for.

    ·  Go to the grocery store and have your child help pick out items for a Memorial Day picnic.

    ·  Make a picture or decoration for Memorial Day.

    ·  Say a word to your child and ask them to say words that rhyme.

    ·  Play hopscotch with your child.

    ·  Have your child use the pictures in a book to tell or retell a story in their own words.


    Suggested Books for Four and Five Year Olds

    From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

    Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood

    Shake My Sillies by Raffi

    Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

    Hi, Clouds by Carole Greene

    Down Comes the Rain by Franklin Branley