Don't just exercise: Hop! Gallop! Side-slide!

Help your child stay active by teaching locomotor skills.

By GreatSchools Staff

Skipping isn’t just child's play, it’s crucial for development. Sure, it’s never easy to keep exercising, but by starting early you could inspire a lifetime of movement.

Locomotor skills are the basic ways to move, the building blocks of coordination. Help your child practice these important skills: walking, galloping, jumping, hopping, side-sliding, leaping and skipping. Start gradually with walking (the easiest) and steadily advance to skipping (the most difficult).

This is a perfect transition activity, during a play date when things aren’t going well. Put on some favorite music and turn the living room into an exercise studio. Most are intense exercises, so allow rest time between skills. Most children naturally build up their skills over time just getting around their neighborhood — but a little indoor locomotion in the winter months certainly can’t hurt.

Learning tips

A few tips to help children learn each locomotor skill: