No doubt the “plans” for the 2020-21 school year involve some sort of social distancing. And I can’t help but visualize what gross-motor development in early childhood would look like under these conditions. We all know that littles don’t have a firm grasp of where their body is in the space around them. Watching them do any form of gross-motor development is like dumping out a box of ping-pong balls. So whenever I come across an idea that lets students wiggle and social distance, I make note of it. Here’s one I recommend for back-to-school.
Have each youngster bring a beach towel to school (or ask for beach towel donations). To be safe, let the towels sit for three days before using them for activities. Cut out the action cards that go with this idea and put them in a container. To begin, place towels on the floor, keeping in mind social distancing rules. Have each child stand on a towel. Then pull a card from the container and read it. Encourage youngsters to pantomime the action. (For extra fun, play beach music!) Continue in the same way with the remaining cards. Consider using the towels for a variety of gross-motor activities, such as marching or running in place, stretching, stomping, hip wiggling, and hopping.