Physical Activity

Last Updated by Pre-School U Editor on

Development of large and small motor skills have a huge impact on a child’s school readiness and school success. Large motor skills (crawling, walking, hopping, skipping, bouncing, throwing and catching a ball) improve a child’s endurance, strength and stability. Small motor skills are strengthened while children use their hands to cut, color and write, pick up and hold blocks and other objects, and use their eyes to read, write and draw. And both skills are related. By encouraging your child to chase, catch or kick a ball or balloon, he or she will also improve the kind of visual tracking that is required for reading. Mastering both small and large motor skills will allow your child to confidently perform complex physical tasks, like writing with one hand while holding the paper with the other.


Watch this video for more information about the importance of physical activity for your growing child.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How do you make sure that your child is getting many opportunities to practice large motor development?
  • How do you make sure that your child is getting many opportunities to practice small motor movement?
  • What other activities can increase your child's experience with large and small motor movements?



Learning at Home Resources from PBS KIDS and PBS Parents


  • Super Why: Whyatt Practices Baseball (1:23) - The Super Readers help Whyatt learn that a little practice goes a long way in learning how to play a sport or dance. Share this video with your child to help her understand the importance of practice when playing any sport.
  • Sid the Science Kid: Yoga: (3:41) - Watch as Sid and his friends learn a new way to move, bend and stretch their bodies - yoga! Learn how yoga can help your child learn to balance, build muscles, and relax with breathing techniques.



  • Sid the Science Kid: Sid Says - Play a game of Sid Says with Sid and his dad to help your child practice moving and identifying certain muscles in his body.
  • Curious George: Monkey Moves - This is a game to get you and your child moving. Choose one of Curious George’s monkey moves routines and do the movement with George.



  • Arthur: Home Olympics - Help your child create his own athletic event in your backyard. Build an obstacle course, play balloon volleyball, or acting like a tumbling tornado all while building muscles, strength, endurance, and motor skills.
  • Dinosaur Train: Playing Dino Ball Your Way - Get outside and play dino ball! You and your child can use creativity, imagination,and movement skills to invent your own game of dino ball - just like the characters on Dinosaur Train.




Additional Resources