50 Infant & Toddler Large Motor Activities (For Gross Motor Skills)

You might be wondering what on earth to do with your infant and/or toddler to help them develop appropriate large motor skills. Toddlers and infants both require a lot of stimulation and exposure to new things in order to be occupied (and happy… amiright?!).

In this post, you’ll learn how to help your infant and/or toddler to develop those large motor abilities and gross motor development by doing a variety of activities.

Most of these activities can be done with things around the house, others can be done outside, and some require a specific toy or equipment around the house, so you don’t have to go out and get new things or buy the best toys to spend quality time with your child.

When your little one is becoming more autonomous, and some of these activities are appropriate for solo play, you should always monitor them while engaging in any of these activities.

The Best Infant & Baby Large Motor Activities

Tummy Time

Tummy time is said to be the most important task for a babies physical development. Some parents find it really difficult as babies tend to get a bit grumpy after a while doing tummy time, however it is so necessary for proper gross motor development. 

Floor play on back 

This is one of those simple ways to help develop bubs large motor skills – and as a bonus most infants love floor play on their back – especially under a mobile! 

Fly them round on their belly 

This is one of those different ways in which us parents will hold our baby to help stop them from crying -but what it also does is really help strengthen those large neck and upper back muscles.

Pushing & pulling

As well as helping walking and balance skills, pushing and pulling a play trolley will help develop hand-eye coordination too. 

Sitting support 

There are so many different activities that we can get bub do to further develop, but one of those first big milestones is when they learn to sit. Sitting support can be as simple as sitting bub up and leaning on you to get those muscles accustomed to sitting. 

Texture crawl 

A great form of physical activity for infants is to create a scattered pile of different textured things (soft, hard, fluffy, rough – maybe a bean bag or two) and let your baby try and move between each object – a great precursor to crawling 

Sensory bags or bottles 

Sensory bags and bottles have become all the rage in the parenting world recently. Check out more at Entertain Your Toddler here.

Crawling game 

Another one of these simple activities is to just put your child’s favourite toy JUST out of reach and get them to try and crawl towards it – keep inching it further back, the closer they get – until they run out of patience with you! 

DIY Climbing Box

Little kids of all ages love climbing in and around boxes – but this is a really great one to encourage infants to pull themselves up – whether to sitting or standing. 

Soft obstacle course 

While typically seen as an activity for older children, a soft-items obstacle course can be a great way for infants to develop crawling and walking skills

Stuffed friend slide 

Going down slides is actually really good for your little one’s core strength – and if they are afraid to go down – a great idea is to get them to push their favorite stuffed friend down before them. 

Balloon tie 

This is a great activity to give you some spare time to do housework (or relax!). Simply tie (not too tight) a balloon on a string around bubs ankle and watch them wiggle and giggle and have a great time. 

Basket of textures 

A basket full of different textured materials for your infant to touch and play with

Water play 

Great for developing arm muscles – even just simply sitting and splashing arms up and down 

Rolling ball 

This is a good one for when everyone is a bit worn out and everyone can just lay or sit on the floor and roll a ball backwards and forwards to each other – great for cognitive development also

Crunch and rip paper 

This helps to develop forearm muscles. For infants, crunching and ripping paper is also a great way to help develop fine motor skills as well. 

Playing with blocks

Little hands love to play with blocks, and its truly wonderful to watch them figure out more and more ways to use them as they develop 

Tunnel Play

Whether you buy a play tunnel or create one out of household items, encouraging your little one to move through a tunnel is great for all-over motor development

Music movement 

While not quite ‘dancing’ at this young age, bubs love to move and bob to music


Whether you call it ‘painting’ or messy play – bubs love the texture of smooshing paint around the place – so many great outdoor gross motor activities can be achieved with paint. Bonus – they can be counted as fine motor activities too! 

Bubble wrap 

Rolling around and crawling on bubble wrap is a brilliant way to get those large motor skills firing 

Tummy time painting 

A great way to turn one of our everyday activities into something special is to turn to tummy time painting! Use a plastic ziplock bag with some paint in it and let bub squish and smoosh while in tummy time – just make sure that bag is done up nice and tight.


Little ones LOVE peekaboo and it is so fun for you to watch how excited they get – plus it’s great for agility

Toys On Lower Furniture

Place favorite toys on lower, reachable furniture to encorauge your little one to move so that they can grab their toy! Great for pull-up to stand practice.


Not only is clapping great for developing large arm muscles, it is excellent for hand-eye coordination too!

Simple Toddler Large Motor Activities

Big paper paint 

Painting with big paper and big brushes is such a fun way to develop those toddler forearm muscles (and a great way to keep them occupied for a while!) 

Balloon play

Running, chasing, kicking and throwing a balloon is not only thoroughly enjoyed by toddlers (and adults hahah), it is a great way to strengthen those toddler muscles. 

Outdoor playground equipment

Local parks are a great way to encourage use of those large muscles without your little one thinking they are having to do anything too hard. AND you can sit there and have a coffee in peace. 

Sand digging 

This is another great activity for developing those arm muscles – and is good for a large age range from infant to toddler. 

Toddler yoga 

A great one for gross motor skill development – toddler yoga videos are popping up all over YouTube – it can be quite a fun activity to do together – And you will be surprised how much more flexible your toddler is than you! 

Water play 

Young children LOVE water play. Whatever the activity (and whatever the temperature) – water play will get them laughing, giggling and running around.

Household tasks 

Household chores are the PERFECT way to get those muscles going. And I don’t know about you, but my toddlers are always trying to help me mop the floor! 


A bit controversial in child development circles, our trampoline has been such a good way to get our toddlers working on their jumping and balancing skills. 

Cycling Cycling is a great way to get your toddler’s entire body firing on all cylinders – even if it is a simple balance bike or trike.


A pediatric physical therapist we saw suggested hopscotch as one of the greatest ways to advance your toddlers gross motor skills -strength, agility and balance


Another one of the great gross motor skill activities, balancing seems to be something toddlers love to do – especially on dangerous ledges hahah

Animal Antics

A bit of a different one of our gross motor activities – get your toddler to pretend to be their favourite animal and move about like an elephant or a dog or a turtle (it’s hilarious, trust me)

Dress-up race

Our toddlers LOVE dressing up – so why not make it a race to see who can get dressed in their favorite costume first.

Bubble play 

A great one for running, jumping and balancing – outdoor bubble play is also a good way to get some Vitamin D into your little love.


Getting toddlers to practice going up and down stairs is a good one – preferrably soft carpeted stai

Washing The Car

A combination of hand chore + water play = large motor muscle development!

Dance party 

Why don’t you join in too – let loose, have a boogie – your child will LOVE it.


If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard pool or live near the ocean – get your little one in to swimming lessons as soon as they are old enough. One of life’s greatest skills!

Obstacle course 

Who doesn’t love an obstacle course – another one to make this one even better is to mark the obstacles with letters of the alphabet and get your toddler to shout the letters as they go  – a good one for developing language skills AND large motor skills all at once. 

Running games 

Simple games are often the best – this could be as easy as playing “chasings” in the backyard to get those leg muscles firing. 

Silly walks 

This one came from my partner doing “crab walk” exercises with resistance bands and our toddler joining in. Silly walks can be so much fun for everyone with bonus leg strengthening included.

Jumping lines 

A great rainy day activity – get some marking tape and stick lines at various intervals throughout your house – get your little one (AND YOU!) see how far you can jump over the lines

Making a road 

While also helping the small muscles develop, getting your toddler to “build a road” and take their toy trucks and cars for a race is a brilliant core strengthening activity. 

Hula hoop 

If anyone can even coordinate it – hula hooping is great for developing gross motor skills – and even attempting it can also help develop cognitive skills too

The floor is lava 

A classic!! Mark out certain areas of the floor with cushions or something else you already have laying around. If anyone touches the cushions (lava!) – they’re out! Great for coordination and quick muscle movements.

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