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Try a super fun gross motor literacy game to build a word for kids from Alisha!
Looking for a way to combine learning and moving? It can seem hard, especially when you’re looking for a fun, simple literacy game.
But I think I found one! Truth: I might have borrowed this one from my last CrossFit workout, but shhhh!
Bonus: there are basically no supplies needed – just paper and something to write with, plus your body!
We think you’ll love this awesome indoor energy buster game, as well!
Move & Spell Fun Gross Motor Literacy Game
Before you get moving, you’ll need about 5 minutes to get set up for your literacy game.
To DIY your own gross motor literacy game, you’ll need:
- Marker or pencil
Fold your paper vertically in half, to make two columns on your paper.
Then draw thirteen dots on one side and thirteen on the other side. Try to space them out evenly to fill up the entire column.
Write one letter per each dot on the paper. A-M will be on the left side of the paper and N-Z on the right side of the paper.
You can choose uppercase, lowercase, or even both types of letters.
If you have a child who can write their alphabet, this is a great practice opportunity. If not, you can go ahead a write them out.
Try even more simple alphabet activities for extra learning fun!
Add a Little Movement to Learning
Once the letters are written on the paper, write the movement activities.
You can choose any actions that are suitable for your kids. Along with each action, decide on an amount to do – like 5 jumping jacks.
You’ll put one action + the amount of that action beside each letter.
My game sheet is simply a guide. You are welcome to copy it exactly as is or use it as a reference to create one more suited for your child’s age.
I chose thirteen movements that are suitable for my kids (ages 5 and 7). Then, I repeated them again with different amounts to equal twenty-six movements.
Some examples of movements are jumping jacks, sidekicks, two-feet jumps, and forward arm circles.
Get moving inside with a whole week of gross motor fun to try out!
I recommend that you write out the amount and the movement per letter, but if your child is able, then they can do it as well. You might also consider doing the letters in one color and the actions in another color.
One Gross Motor Literacy Game, Many Ways to Play!
There are many ways to play this literacy game, but the main objective is to spell words while doing actions.
Adding in actions and movement while learning can help kids (and adults) remember information or skills more effectively.
We started with simple name spelling. Each of us took a turn finding the letters in our names, then doing the actions for each letter.
I went first, just to get us started. My name is Alisha, so I would do the movements for letters A, L, I, S, H, and A.
From our game sheet, that would be:
- 5 jumping jacks
- 5 left-foot hops
- 3 backward arm circles
- 3 toe touches
- 4 right-foot hops
- 5 jumping jacks.
You can choose to play in a group, where each person takes turns building their word and doing the movements.
Or you could play with one person as they build continuous words and do those movements; it could be quite a workout.
Another fun way would be to all work on building the same letter. Either do all the movements for all the letters together or round-robin the letters, with each person doing one letter in turn until the word is spelled out.
This gross motor game can be played by just the kids or adults can join in, too! The day we did this in my CrossFit group, we were all gasping for air by the end with muscles burning.
Learn More with These Gross Motor Game Ideas
I love how adaptable this gross motor activity is to all sorts of learning. We did it as a literacy game, but you could 100% switch it up!
We thought of these creative ways to move and learn:
- Name practice: build your name
- Seasonal words: summer (ocean and hot)
- Holiday words: Easter (egg, cross, and bunny)
- Sight words practice: choose words that your child is learning
- Spelling words practice: have them spell the words to you
- Simple letter recognition: have your child find a letter and do that single move
Another fun idea might be to format this for sticker sheets you can print. Format everything on your computer, then hit print.
Your child will be able to peel and stick letters + actions before they move. It’ll help them avoid hunting for each letter and losing their place in the words.
Choose the best approach for you, mix and match, and use this literacy game again and again. Save your game sheet and add this to your go-to activities whenever you need a quick energy buster activity.