Perceptual - Motor Activities for Visually Impaired Children

This program of perceptual-motor activities for the young visually impaired and multihandicapped includes an outline of suggested general performance areas, various objectives, examples of teaching the objectives, uses of equipment, simple games of low organization and ideas to motivate general locomotion.

The major goal of the program is to develop and improve perceptual-motor skills through a variety of locomotor, movement, and simple game experiences. An increase in basic skills of movement, and simple game experiences. An increase in basic skills of movement, organic fitness and an improvement in social and emotional development will be evident.

Additional goals of such a program are as follows:

1. to increase the enjoyment of moving
2. to develop skills already gained and introduce new ones
3. to increase mobility skills
4. to improve body awareness
5. to learn basic spatial concepts
6. to improve the child's own feelings about self through hard work and success (increase confidence)
7. to improve coordination and ease of movement
8. to involve all children in physical activity
9. to coordinate movement and auditory clues
10. to give personal meaning to language

Traditional physical education programs have usually provided children with a few isolated skills which have been useful only in recreational and game situations. The need for the young visually impaired and multi-handicapped to experience daily perceptual-motor activities generates the necessity to devise artificial means to provide a variety of movement experiences that are absent in their lifestyle. Movement education should play an important part in their physical education program.

The curriculum must be well rounded and include 3 major areas of perceptual-motor development.
1. Fundamental locomotor movements
2. Movement exploration
3. Games of low organization

These areas stress the use of perceptual information in the performance of the motor acts involved and in certain cases overlap. These areas will be discussed briefly and additional supplementary teaching suggestions and ideas will be included.
Fundamental locomotor movements help the child develop the ability to move efficiently in space. Speed, agility, control of balance, endurance, muscle strength and total body coordination are all practised. These skills include running, walking, skipping, hopping, jumping, etc., and such exercises can include variations in force, time and space. Combinations of these skills are also beneficial. There are numerous locomotor activities and experiences which young visually impaired and multihandicapped children can experience. Through creative programming these movements can be a part of every lesson as a daily warm up activity. Once the child can attend and perform to the instructor's voice, single instrumental sounds can be introduced for motivation and later rhythm records can be used. Various locomotor combinations can be practised and made fun. In order to build endurance, short periods of stability and body awareness exercises can be interspaced between periods of continuous locomotor movement. The activities that follow are useful for total body movement and can be part of a daily warm up routine. Note that they are NOT listed in increasing order of difficulty.

Introductory Warm Up Activities Involving Locomotor Skills

1. walk - with/without beat
2. walk - forward, backward, sideways, tip-toe, big steps, toes in/out heel walk
3. walk - up/down an incline board
4. walk - to fast/slow beat
5. run - straight path
6. run - forward, backward, sideways
7. run on toes
8. run - toward, away
9. run - taking large steps
10. run - fast/slow
11. jump - off floor using 2 feet (vertical)
12. jump - jump - horizontally
13. jump - forward, backward, sideways
14. jump - for various heights
15. jump - over obstacles (ropes, beanbags)
16. jump - for height and/or distance
17. jump - inside/outside hoop
18. hop-on one foot - dominant/non-dominant
19. hop - to left/right, forward/backward/sideways
20. hop - over/around object
21. leap - with right/left foot take off
22. leap - for distance/height
23. leap - over obstacles
24. run and jump/leap
25. slide to left/right
26. slide forward (gallop)
27. alternate leading foot while galloping
28. skip (step and hop) for distance/direction
29. walk - alternate with run on cue
30. walk - and on cue lift one leg up (balance)
31. twirl (turn body around)
32. interpret sounds of a drum, triangle or tambourine through movement
33. demonstrate the actions of objects or animals
34. march
35. demonstrate various combinations of locomotor skills on cue
36. run and on cue sit down
37. walk or run to music, when it stops sit down
38. do locomotor skills to beat and on cue stop and touch specified body parts
39. locomotor skills to beat and on cue stop and touch specified body parts
40. musical hoops - walk around, when music stops find a hoop and sit inside (gradually reduce number of hoops available)
41. musical chairs
42. swing only arms/move only legs to rhythm
43. do locomotor skills to simple beat and on cue hide specified body part with hands
44. slap body parts to music (instructor calls out specific body parts)
45. run and on cue get whole body in air
46. crawl like a puppy dog
47. run and on cue touch floor/wall with/without specific body part
48. run anywhere - what part if touching the floor, now use another part
49. explore different ways of travelling with hands and feet on the floor
50. tails - attach with tape a kleenex on back, run and don't let anyone catch your tail
51. run and on cue freeze, perhaps make a statue (happy, sad, scary, etc.)
52. pretend to skate on the floor (do twirls, and leaps)
53. ticker tape - hold in one/two hands and move with it, let it fly in the air

The following records are useful:

  • Bowmar Rhythm Records - Rhythm Time #1 - Rhythm Time #2
  • Movin' - Hap Palmer
  • Mod Marches - Hap Palmer
  • Bert Kemphert Music - That Happy Feeling

By nature, movement experiences found in regular physical educational programs are perceptual-motor activities but the emphasis is generally on the gross motor development and not the perceptual development through the medium of movement.
Movement is the foundation upon which all educational experiences are built. (Piaget, Delacato, Frostig, Kephart, Getman) Through movement a young visually impaired and multihandicapped child can improve health, gain an understanding and control of the body, develop a better understanding of self and others and respond to challenges at his own level. Activities should be selected on the basis of how well the student can develop concepts and movement principles described under the following headings: body awareness; awareness of environment; awareness of body postures; and body control.

With the visually impaired and multihandicapped, the teacher occasionally must provide solutions to movement problems or provide physical assistance to move correctly. Within time, these movements and solutions to the movement problems may become more natural to the child. Activities can be initiated without equipment and later explored and reinforced by use of equipment. (As an example, a child can be told to walk and on cue touch a specified body part with his hand. Once this has been accomplished, to reinforce or motivate the same activity, the child can be encouraged to use a bean bag and make it touch various specified body parts.) Learning body surfaces can be done first by using the floor and later moving along a bench using the front or back of the body.

A wide variety of equipment should be used whenever possible. The following list suggests some basic equipment.

  • playground balls (large/small)
  • parachute
  • spongeballs
  • ropes
  • hoops
  • scooters
  • scoops
  • benches
  • beach balls
  • mats
  • chairs large
  • push ball
  • tires
  • roll mat
  • yard sticks
  • push doughnut
  • adapted walking board
  • balloons
  • bells
  • rockers (various sizes)
  • drums
  • tambourine
  • crepe paper
  • triangle
  • Javex bottles (for bowling pins,scoops, etc)
  • bats
  • cardboard boxes
  • inner tubes
  • broomsticks or hockey sticks
  • barrels skates (roller/ice)
  • wooden climbing boxes
  • trampoline
  • horizontal ladder climber
  • large gymnastic mat

Some useful teaching units in movement exploration which can help a child discover
how his body moves in space and in time are as follows:
(unit headings and many more are available from Vanier (1))

Body Parts

  • head back heels
  • neck elbow ankles
  • shoulders wrist shins
  • chest fingers knees
  • waist thumb thighs
  • stomach hands arms
  • hips toes feet
  • legs seat or "bum"

1. pretend to take a bath, child or teacher suggest a body part to be rubbed
2. hoops, place certain body part inside on request
3. explore different action that certain body parts can do, then suggest which body parts must move when dancing to music
4. slap body part to music - teacher calls out specific part to be slapped or tapped (can be done using body actions)
5. roll ball with different body parts
6. lift certain body part on request and shake (eg. shake shoe off foot)

Body Surfaces

  • front
  • back
  • sides

1. slide along the wall using different surfaces, also floor
2. do a log roll on floor verbalizing surfaces
3. use equipment such as bench or scooter and experience moving
4. partner work - feel partner's surfaces, roll partner along floor

Body Shapes

  • curved
  • straight and narrow
  • straight and wide
  • twisted

1. feel a hoop and make body curl inside it
2. put bean bag behind body and "glue" feet on floor, turn and pick it up
3. hold a flag, ticker tape etc. and practice swaying it from side to side, twisting body

Body Relationships: body part to body part

  • near to each other
  • far from each other
  • otate with one part fixed

1. bending and unbending various body parts
2. practice curling, stretching and twisting body in air/floor, on mat

Relationship of Body Parts to Objects: on, off, over, around, across, under, near to, far from

1. bench work, go under feet first, etc. and various combinations
2. hide legs under parachute, etc. (use walls, floors, boxes, etc. as objects)

Controlling Body: total body rotations: static balances; dynamic balances

1. various log, forward and backward rolls
2. exercises outlined in exercise section
3. trampoline work
4. climber work 
5. Manipulating
6. Refer to section "Suggested Uses for Equipment"

Relationship of One Person to Another/Others

  • near to    side by side
  • far from    shadowing 
  • meeting    mirroring
  • parting    leading
  • facing    following

1.  with partner touch specified body parts together eg. head to head, back to back, hands to hands, etc.

The Transfer of Weight

  • step-like actions
  • rocking
  • rolling
  • sliding
  • flight

1. running and leaping
2. put a bean bag between feet and rock over head and drop
3. practice sliding by using a bean bag on the floor and pushing it with a foot
4. grasp knees and rock on mat

Divisions of Space

  • self space
  • general space

1.  standing still swing arms in circle, do with head, legs, fingers etc.
2.  move around room to experience general space, can do with specific body parts
3.  use a ball and let it touch all the space that your body takes up, now take the ball and explore the room

Dimensions of Space

  • directions: forward, backward, to one side; to the other side; up, down
  • levels: high; low
  • planes: flat; round
  • pathways: straight; curved; zig zag
  • speed: slow; medium; fast
  • rhythm

1. use the tambourine and tell child how and where to move
2. lying on floor raise certain body part high, standing make part go low
3. knock 2 blocks together and instruct child to move varying speed
4. cover a mat with your body to experience a flat plane, a ball for a round plane

Miscellaneous Movement Experiences

1. sit face to face and push each other at the shoulders, do the same back to back, take partner for a ride and push with back
2. pulling or pushing partner by arms or legs around room
3. various exercises, demonstrate and physically assist, later do to music with vocal cue
4. head, should, knees and toes OR head, shoulders, (substitute child's name) 1,2,3 (do action 3 times)
5. push against objects such as the wall, boxes, large balls, etc. or pull at tug of war
6. pretend to be popcorn popping on beat of a drum, twist arms outstretched and be a washing machine
7. make a bridge with body - back toward floor/stomach toward floor
8. make a bridge and partner crawls under
9. ankle and crab walks
10. animal walks - available in most basic physical education books
11. crawl - like a puppy dog/like their baby brother or sister
12. pretend something is pulling/pushing you to the wall or whatever
13. put masking tape around child's hand and experience what it's like getting stuck to other things and people, pretend whole body is stuck to something
14. deep breathing - feel with hands how body relaxes
15. stretch to the sky then go limp like a rag doll
16. shake specified body parts and later shake whole body (then shake out)
17. be small like a balloon after feeling it, then feel a real one expand and make body big and fat like a balloon
18.  wiggle on your back and feel the floor
19. ride on an adults back
20. lift objects with feet
21. 2 adults enclose child in their joined arms and sway child from side to side
22. do a back to back push up - very hard
23. adult should support small child in many ways - carry, lift, rock, piggyback twirl around, sit child on knee and bounce up and down
24. let child experience the feeling of being contained eg. arms around child swing or sway
25. free falling on a soft mat
26. on hands and feet move across floor, lift 1 arm up, lift 1 leg up, kick 2 legs up
27. two children in a crawling position, cover with a blanket and pretend to be a turtle
28. lie down, fold arms and bend knees, then sit up
29. sitting on floor, turn body around in a circle using hands and feet
30.  take shoes off and experience walking outside on grass, sidewalk, in sand, on cement floor, on carpet
31. take a partner, one sits on floor, other feels partner's body parts and surfaces moving it passively, experiencing joint movements eg. at elbow
32. creative movement: (from Vanier, Teaching Physical Education in Elementary Schools)
        a)    Play in the leaves

  • put on your coat, it is chilly 
  • run up the big hill and back down again 
  • walk through the leaves and kick them with your feet
  • stoop down and fill your arms with leaves and take them over to the big pile 
  • rake the leaves into a pile 
  • run and jump into the leaves 
  • lie in the pile of leaves and cover yourself with them starting at your feet 
  • let's pretend we are a leaf and fall gently to the ground 
  • walk across the stream balancing on the stepping stones 
  • jump back across to the other side 
  • run up and back down the big hill and back to the house

        b)    Indian Scouts

  • on horses gallop
  • make high jumps over fallen trees 
  • dodge in and out of tall trees 
  • dismount  o creep slowly 
  • go under the bushes after the bear 
  • crawl and go out of sight 
  • hide behind a tree 
  • peer around the tree 
  • take big steps down a big hill 
  • jump from rock to rock 
  • drop on 1 knee to shoot with bow and arrow 
  • remount horses and gallop home

       c)    Halloween

  • pretend to make self scary and be a witch, goblin, or ghost, listen to record and do actions on cue (Hap Palmer's Movin')

33. dance to lively music eg. Bert Kemphert Music, Hal Palmer Music, student can bring in favourite record body awareness games and activities on the record "Getting to Know Myself" by Hap Palmer (the whole record is excellent)
34. various other Hap Palmer records have specific songs that involve body movement (Easy Does It, Feelin' Free, Learning Basic Skills Through Music #1 and #2, and Learning Basic Skills Through Vocabulary)

With the young visually impaired and multihandicapped it is also important to develop a movement vocabulary. Sometimes words are excellent motivators for movement. (eg. pop like a popcorn) If used daily they can become very familiar and later be used in combinations or in different orders. Rhythm can be explored. (eg. run, run, run, jump....., or walk, twirl, walk, twirl) Word associations can be experienced. (eg. can you be scary like a monster). The teacher can also use sounds for encouragement. (eg. "boom" when falling on a mat or "swish" when swaying arms like a tree) More ideas are as follows:

Word Associations

Can you be:    Sounds for Encouragement

  • as roly as a roly poly    Boy-ong    Bong, bong, bong
  • as small as a mouse    Boom    Tu-tu-tu
  • as round as a ball    OooOOow    Choo Choo
  • as wiggly as a worm    ooooOOOO    Tick Tock
  • as tall as a house    Va-room    Swish swish
  • as pointy as a pencil    Pow    Aaa
  • as floppy as a rag doll    Ka-boom    Oooooo
  • as silly as a clown    Shhhhh    TTTTTT
  • as fat as a balloon    Buzzz    Fissss
  • as scary as a monster    SSSS    Clink, Clink
  • as scratchy as sandpaper    Ta-ump, Ta-ump    Rah
  • as knotty as a knot    Wooo
  • as stretchy as an elastic  

Single Action Words

  • Travelling Actions: run; skip; creep; rush; flee; slither; hop; gallop; dart
  • Jumping Actions: leap; toss; prance; soar; hurl; bound; bounce; fly
  • Stopping Actions: freeze; perch; anchor; settle; hold grip; pause
  • Contacting Actions: shrink; close; shrivel; narrow
  • Sinking Actions: collapse; lower; fall; sink; drop
  • Vibratory Actions: shiver; quiver; wobble; patter; shake; tremble; vibrate; shudder
  • Turning Actions: spin; whip; whirl; twirl: swivel
  • Percussive Actions: sharp; explode; patter; punch; pound
  • Expanding Actions: grow; spread; open; release; reach
  • Rising Actions: lift; rise

It is highly recommended that a wide variety of equipment be used when exploring movement. The following section includes activities that have been successful with young visually impaired and multihandicapped children. These are only a few suggestions. Many more can be invented and included.


1. hoops on floor - move around/over
2. on the spot, put one body part in the hoop and move
3. as above using combinations of body parts
4. roll the hoop, try to keep up with it
5. roll it to a partner
6. on the floor run and jump in it, pretend it is a puddle and stamp feet and splash
7. twirl the hoop
8. twirl on different body parts
9. move around while twirling it
10. on floor, jump in it and wiggle out from under it, can do with a partner
11. balance hoop on different body parts (eg. on head and pretend to be a bubble)
12. use hoop as a jump rope
13. spin hoop
14. spin hoop and run around it until it stops spinning
15. pretend it is a steering wheel
16. musical hoop game
17. Hap Palmer song "Walking around a circle" from Getting to Know Myself

 Bean Bags (b.b.)

1. b.b. in scatter formation, walk around all of them
2. as above only jump over them when you find them
3. work with one on the spot, put on the floor and get over it different ways
4. can your hands help your feet get over the b.b.
5. make a bridge over the b.b.
6. make a bridge over it and get different body parts high
7. make a low bridge over it
8. throw and catch with b.b.
9. throw with 1/2 hands
10. throw to left/right/behind/in front of/in garbage can
11. can you throw with another body part besides your hands (eg. use teeth, head)
12. throw b.b. to the wall using overhand/underhand/sidearm
13. on floor push b.b. with a different body part
14. b.b. on body part take it for a ride (eg. on back, on stomach)
15. use b.b. and hoops to play a game of fill the basket
16. use b.b. and scoops to practice throwing up and catching
17. make b.b. touch body parts and take it for a ride
18. relays and races - moving b.b. special way to goal
19. how many ways can you pick up the b.b. (eg. knees, feet, teeth, hands, elbows)
20. positional concepts - put b.b. behind, in front of, to the side of (beside)
21. be a shaggy dog (on hands and knees, crawl with b.b. on back, shake it off)
22. hold b.b. between feet and rock it over your head and drop it on the floor
23. balance b.b. on different body parts
24. hold b.b. between knees and jump
25. practice underhand throw with b.b.
26. use a chair, bench etc. place b.b. over, under, to left, to right, in front of, behind


1. ropes scattered around room, child walks and jumps over rope
2. rope in a straight line - can you stretch from one end to the other
3. hold rope and turn around and let it fly in the air
4. with partner play at pulling each other along floor
5. with partner pull rope
6. jump over rope - go back and forth several times
7. rope on the floor - walk sideways along it
o walk heel to toe along it
o do a scissor walk along it
o do a straddle walk along it
8. children in single file, use 2 ropes on both sides and children hold on 1 side with left hand and on other with right hand -
9. practice walking in line to a simple rhyme
10. with rope drooped under partner's arms pretend to have a pony
11. shake the rope like a snake
12. partner sitting on a scooter, holding a rope, pull and take for a ride
13. balance on rope with 1/2 feet
14. walk forward/backward along rope
15. leap over the rope


1. sit and roll to wall
2. sit and roll to partner, (soles of feet touching) receive rolling ball
3. stand and bounce (using 1 or 2 hands)
4. stand, bounce and catch
5. perform a continuous bounce
6. can you bounce and catch it 10 times on the spot and then sit
7. bounce it against the wall
8. bounce it around the room
9. bounce it to a partner
10. throw it up
11. throw it far
12. throw to partner
13. throw up and catch
14. throw to the wall
15. roll ball on floor with a body part
16. in circle with other children roll or bounce
17. kick
18. kick to wall and trap it
19. relay games - pass over and under
20. suspend ball (with bell attached) and hit with hand or bat
21. pass ball around circle - play poison ball
1.  play cat and mouse
2.  call ball


1. get on the bench
2. lead with body part requested
3. can your hands help your feet on the bench
4. get on the bench without facing it
5. walk along bench
6. straddle 2 legs on either side of bench and move along it
7. let hands pull body along bench on stomach/back
8. on back let feet push you along bench
9. balance on the bench a different way
10. get off the bench a different way
11. jump off and stretch in the air
12. how far away from the bench can you land when you get off
13. go under the bench - let one body part lead (eg. feet first, head, etc.)
14. climb over it
15. do a push-up on the bench
16. jump off different ways
17. use with hoop - crawl along and through it
18. walk along it and step over/pick up.....
19. hold with 2 hands and jump getting legs high in air/perhaps over to other side

"Martha" Mat

1. practise any kind of movement over, on, along or around the mat using different directions or body parts
2. jump on, around or over the mat
3. move on the mat taking weight on different body parts
4. roll on the mat - rock
o stretch and curl
o twist and turn
o arch and bridge
5. do an activity to get feet in the air
6. cover mat with body - hide it
7. touch much of the mat, touch a little of it (eg. toe, finger)
8. if using a thick gymnastic mat use a bench to practice jumping in air and landing in different ways - on stomach/back
9. practice various rolls front/back/log
Climber and Apparatus
1. climb up and touch bell
2. climb from 1 part to another without touching the floor
3. what parts of your body can you use to take you up, down
4. climb the ladder but don't use feet
5. skip 1 rung as you climb
6. go up fast, come down slowly
7. race your partner going up
8. hang on the rope
9. can you climb the rope
10. swing on the rope
11. transfer from the rope to the ladder
12. on the bar swing
13. get over the bar
14. move from the bar to another part of the climber

Roller/Ice Skates

1. stand with/without assistance
2. stand from kneeling with/without assistance
3. stand from sitting with/without assistance
4. stand and touch toes
5. walk 5 feet with/without assistance
6. cross width of gym/rink with/without assistance
7. glide on 2 feet with/without assistance
8. lift glide (other foot off floor/ice)
9. alternate 1 foot glide and push off
10. stop (snowplow on ice, with roller skates with rubber stopper)
11. skate forward/backward and stop
Upside down plastic garbage cans are excellent and safe for support, chairs with protruding legs or tube connected legs are dangerous.

Beach Balls

1. many skills outlined under the ball section can be played with the beach ball
2. circle kick ball - children in circle kick beach ball to keep it in the circle
3. circle bat ball - as above, sitting use hand/bat to keep it in the circle
4. use on a parachute - make waves and try to knock it off
5. adapted volleyball - divide room with bench, child picks ball and throws it over to the other side of the bench
Beach balls are light and safer than regular balls. Attach a ell to them.

Scooter Boards

(never allow standing)
1. sit on it and move forward, backward, to a goal
2. use stomach/back move it
3. move about with one part of the body on the board
4. spin or turn
5. keep yourself as low as possible (also high)
6. partners - one on scooter, other push back and take for a ride
7. sit on scooter and use only hands to move (only legs, both hands and legs)
8. on stomach or back do above
9. on both knees move
10. on 1 knee and 2 hands move (change knees)
11. individual relays and races (eg. go across room, pick up a bean bag and return)
12. obstacle course - around boxes, through a tunnel etc.
13. sitting on a scooter, bat a beach ball along the floor

Parachute Activities

1. hold chute with 2 hands, step back to tighten it
2. holding, walk to right/left - all make a wheel
3. flutter and shake chute to make big/little waves
4. put several light balls on the chute (perhaps add bells to them) students make waves and try to knock the balls off (creating a popcorn effect)
5. lie chute on floor and take turns crawling under the chute to a voice across on the other side

Trampoline - always use bare feet for safety

1. getting on the tramp safely (sit down, pretend sitting on the edge of your bed, hold on with hands, swings legs over and on, pull self on with hands and slide to the centre)
2. sit at centre and use hands to push (also legs)
3. on hands and knees - maintain balance
push and receive movement
get part or whole body in air
4. get to a standing position - feet apart
turn 90, follow voice, remaining at centre
5. stand and bend knees to push and receive motion 
6. learn to stop by bending knees and receiving motion - do many times 
7. bend knees and bounce with control
8. jump getting body in air
9. jump continuously
10. jump continuously and follow voice by turning at 90 and remaining at centre
11. practice stopping on command
12. look for feet landing back at centre, head straight, arm lift and drop, knees extend and return to jump positions
13. knee drop - stiffen body, head up, drop on knees and return to jump position
14. other stunts:
o jump and touch knees
o jump and tuck knees
o do hands and knee drop
15. hands and knees bounce and return to jump position
16. seat drop to knee drop
17. seat drop to seat drop and stand
18. seat drop ½ turn to stand
19. hands and knee drop to knee drop and vice versa
20. knee drop to seat drop
21. sing various rhymes to motivate child to jump

Miscellaneous Activities with Equipment

  •  broomstick/hockey stick - straddle and pretend to ride a horse, play music
  • cardboard packing boxes - climb in and close, roll around and play Jack-in-the-box
  • bowling - make pins from Javex bottles, child sits on chair and rolls ball
  • scoops - cut from Javex bottles and use with b.b. to throw up and catch, throw to wall, to partner ticker tape - cut from crepe paper - swing from side to side :
    - walk with it trailing high/low
    - swing up/down
    - twirl around body
    - make different shapes
    - make waves
    - move to music
    - use 2, 1 in each hand
  • kleenex - staple to rubber band and wear on 1 hand to help discriminate left/right, use with tape and tape to back to make a tail - play at running away and saving tail from being caught
  • if large lie on it, or sit with partner and rock
  • if regular size, sit and rock, then stand using wide/narrow base
  • child hold string attached to it and walks experiencing it flying in the air
  • hold the string and kick, or bat up with hand
  • suspend with a string and hit with hand

Use outside equipment when the weather is good, perhaps teacher could be leader and play follow-the-leader using sound cues. Take certain equipment outside to use.
padded doughnut:

  • child pushes and receives impact
  • child rides inside and is rolled (requires strict supervision)
  • mat roll (roly poly) child straddles legs, sits or lies on stomach and experiences different positions, can also roll it along the floor using whole body

Large ball with inner tube:

  • push and receive impact of someone pushing it
  • also good for child to roll over and experience different balances

After thorough investigation with equipment invite child to choose 1 piece of equipment, child should show different ways of how equipment can be used.
while 1 child is working on a trampoline others can be involved in either group games, and obstacle course or rotate around stations where equipment is placed for specific skills

Obstacle Course ideas: involving various combinations of the following equipment
large gymnastic mat and bench - get along bench various ways (forward, backward, sideways) and jump onto the mat (on back, stomach, low, high, stretch, curl)

  • horizontal ladder: move along on top of rungs, in between rungs, forward, backward, sideways, using hands and feet, feet only
  • climber: use various ways previously listed
  • wooden boxes: climb over and on, stand and stretch, jump off various ways


  • go along various ways, go under (feet/head first, on back/stomach)
  • go over then under (around)
  • place tire on and child must crawl along and through 

Other Gymnastics Ideas:

  • 2 chairs and 1 hoop: set up with hoops on top of chairs, and child crawls under and climbs out or vice versa
  • mat on a slant: child crawls. up and performs a log roll down "hill"
  • tunnel:: use a table and droop a blanket over it, and the child crawls through (watching out for the boogie man)
  • slant board (storming plank): attach to a pull out climber and experience going up and down on feet or on tummy
  • tires: climb in and get across a series of them in a row using hands and legs if necessary
  • yard stick: tape to floor and child must walk along keeping feet on it

Next: Games