With the temperatures rising and summer approaching it typically means school is out, schedules are changing, and a lot of outdoor play is on the agenda!

Here are 3 tips from a pediatric physical therapist to help make your child’s summer a gross motor success:

Kick Off Those Shoes
Increase barefoot time when it is safe to do so. Textures such as grass, sand, water, dirt, and mud are all a wonderful sensory experience for your child. Plus it helps strengthen the tiny muscles in their feet for added balance and coordination.

Think Big
Let your kiddos play and explore nature on playgrounds, bikes, and scooters when possible (see my bike progression blog post!). Big movements are beneficial because, not only does it build strength, coordination, body awareness, and confidence, it also burns off all that extra energy! You're welcome!

Get Messy
Incorporate sensory play, and, yes, it's ok to get messy! My favorite sensory activities involve tables full of water, sand, dirt, sticks, leaves, and bubbles. This promotes creativity and is a  learning experience for your child. But don’t feel like it has to be “Pinterest worthy.” Your child will have a blast no matter what!

Take advantage of this time of year and let your little one build those gross motor skills outside the house. You got this, mama! 

Dr. Amie Dougherty

Dr. Amie Dougherty

Owner/Pediatric Physical Therapist

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