Open Discussion Forum

  • 1.  gross motor/physical activity training

    Posted 03-13-2023 12:02 PM

    Hi there!

    We would like to prepare a professional development training on the importance of gross motor movement and how to incorporate physical activity in to lesson plans.  Does anyone have any good gross motor-themed ice breakers to begin our training with?


    Kelly Pfleging
    Administrative Manager
    The Oaks Children's Academy
    Charleston SC

  • 2.  RE: gross motor/physical activity training

    Posted 03-14-2023 09:38 AM

    Here are some videos focusing on gross motor skills.

    Ron Shuali, M.Ed.
    ECE gardener
    Davie FL

  • 3.  RE: gross motor/physical activity training

    Posted 03-15-2023 12:40 AM

    I have written songs that encourage gross motor activity. You can hear some of them on my blog about "Crossing the Midline." You can see it here:

    Keep singing,


    Risa Cohen
    Creative Director
    Sing Into Reading
    Toledo OH

  • 4.  RE: gross motor/physical activity training

    Posted 03-14-2023 10:16 AM


      I use a great CD called, My Little World by Natii Wright.  It is so uplifting with songs to get you moving. I used the Good Morning song with signing movements as a ice breaker for my adult training years ago and they are still singing it.  It is great for the children also. Bouncy songs that use all parts of your body. 

    Natalye Delegal
    Nat''s Day Care
    Philadelphia PA

  • 5.  RE: gross motor/physical activity training

    Posted 03-14-2023 12:19 PM

    An ice breaker I have enjoyed is:

    -stand, walk and find a partner

    -choose a motion (jump, clap hands, wiggle, turn around, high five, anything!) do it together

    -find another partner and choose a different motion (helpful to repeat your sequence as each is added)

    -find a third partner and choose another motion 

    (memory starts to go between 4 and 5 motions but repeat as long as interest allows)

    To end, everyone stands in a circle and does their motion sequence at the same time for everyone else.

    Vicki Knauerhase M.Ed.
    Child Development Specialist (retired)
    Weston OH

  • 6.  RE: gross motor/physical activity training

    Posted 03-15-2023 11:56 AM

    Great question, I'll share ideas from a training I do on toddlers and sensory experience, I think it pertains. 

    I start with a (sort of) trick question: has anyone ever seen a toddler walk of their own volition?

    I ask the participants to think of a toddler, how do they naturally move?

    Then the icebreaker can be to get up and try out all the kinds of toddler typical movements they can think of. (Hopefully running and falling will be high on the list, as well as crawling and creeping around obstacles and under tables.)

    I Introduce the concepts: Vestibular System and Proprioception and the need to develop these senses in order to feel "right in your body." Which leads into risk management in all forms, but starts with your own body experiences, and the kinds of gross motor activities that support the development of these under-examined senses.

    Karen Lefkovitz
    Independent Consultant
    Philadelphia PA

  • 7.  RE: gross motor/physical activity training

    Posted 03-14-2023 08:30 PM

    Here is one of my favorite warm-up activities that kids really enjoy and adults get a kick out of:

    I have used the activity as an ice-breaker when given presentations to early childhood educators. Good luck with your training.

    John Ozmun
    Indiana Wesleyan University
    Marion IN

  • 8.  RE: gross motor/physical activity training

    Posted 03-15-2023 12:10 PM

    Hi Kelly, 

    I have a great resource that is related to your question. 

    Pathways Foundation (Chicago) has fanstatic short videos of typical and atypical motor development that can help parents and teachers be alert to motor issues.

    This link below is to the awesome video made years ago to train physicians about how to observe motor issues and how to question parents. I've used this extensively training psychologists, teachers and others in early childhood assessment. Unfortunately I could only find this version in Spanish on their site, although other videos are really good to show typical and atypical motor development so teachers and others who see children young can make referrals early for atypically developing children who might need services.

    Scott Mesh, PhD, CEO
    Los Niños Services (NYC)
    Young Child Expo & Conference

  • 9.  RE: gross motor/physical activity training

    Posted 03-19-2023 09:52 AM

    Check out the work of Rae Pica, who would be perfect for your needs.  She has workshops, books, CDs, etc.  (Disclosure - I met her many years ago at a NAEYC conference and know her work well.)

    Ellen Cogan, MS Ed - Owner, Chief Consultant - HILLTOP Early Childhood SERVICES
    NYS Early Learning Credentialed Trainer
    NYS Master Cadre, Pyramid Model
    Implementation Planner, Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership