Spring Activities to Promote Motor Skills

With the long weekend around the corner and the warm weather upon us, now is the perfect time to introduce new activities to your child.

It can often be challenging to find activities that are developmentally appropriate for your child, but we encourage you to explore the activities below to see what your child might enjoy.

Fine Motor Activities

  • Sidewalk chalk – draw pictures, practice letters and colour that driveway! You can even play tic–tac–toe!
  • Use a water gun or similar water toy to “write” or “draw.”
  • Write and draw in sand, dirt or mud with a stick or finger.
  • Build a boat, plane or car from recycled materials.
  • Put stickers in a sticker book.
  • Spring scavenger hunts: make a list of the things you see or find.
  • Spring crafts: find items in nature and make a craft with them.
  • Create a treasure hunt! Hide a “treasure”, then write out clues to find the treasure. Read the clues or perform a task to find the hidden treasure.
  • Plan an outing to the beach, park or museum. Think of all the things you will need and make a list.
  • String beads or pasta.
  • Draw a picture of yourself or your family.
  • Draw/print using stencils.
  • Hang clothes on the clothesline. Practice opening and closing the clothespins.
  • Pick up bugs with scissor scoops.
  • Practice cutting flowers with scissors.
  • Paint rocks that you find on your adventures outside.

Sensory Activities

  • Go to the beach! See who can build the biggest sandcastle. Digging and pouring are great ways to build arm strength and hand-eye coordination.
  • Garden: pushing the wheelbarrow, carrying plants and buckets, pulling weeds, digging holes and spraying the hose.
  • Wash the car. Holding the spray nozzle of the hose builds a strong grasp and encourages hand-eye coordination while they aim the water.
  • Baking – a great activity to do together which helps to build upper body strength. Use a rolling pin to engage the use of both hands!
  • Play in the park – swinging, spinning, sliding, and climbing are all great activities, which also provide strong sensory input.
  • Dig in the garden, at the beach or in a sandbox.
  • Play catch with water balloons.
  • Make sensory bins: use water, dried pasta, rice, rocks, etc.
  • Make science experiments outside.

Gross Motor Activities

  • Get outside and play catch! This is a great way to build hand-eye coordination and strengthen the upper body at the same time.
  • Swimming strengthens the entire body and builds motor planning and bilateral coordination skills.
  • Go for a hike or walk! Walking on uneven terrain is a fantastic way to work on dynamic balance.
  • Ride a bicycle, tricycle, scooter or skateboard.
  • Set up an obstacle course.
  • Walk many ways! Wheelbarrow walk, crab walk, walk backwards, walk sideways, tiptoe walk or lion walk….be creative! Play follow the leader with a friend doing different walks.
  • Try animal yoga. Stretch like a cat, stand on your tiptoes and reach up high like a giraffe, slither on the floor like a snake and downward dog stretch.
  • Run through a sprinkler.
  • Jump: Jump rope. Jump in puddles. Jump in a pool. Jump hopscotch.


Odette Thevenot MSc., OT Reg. (Ont.)
ACT Learning Centre Occupational Therapist