Gross Motor Skills
Mildren Parten, one of the first people to study peer sociability in toddlers, defined cooperative play as play that involves different complementary roles with a shared purpose. Here are some ways to promote cooperative play.
Row your Boat- Have partners sit on the floor facing each other with legs stretched out in front of them. Grasping hands, toddlers should pull gently back and forth as they sing “Row, Row, Row your boat…" Change the words in the song from “gently down the stream" to other things like “quickly" or “bumpily" or “slowly".
This will be new to the toddlers so keep it simple! Have one child stand on one side of the designated area and the other student stand on the opposite side facing the partner. Have them start by the first student running to the partner and tapping hands and then the partner runs back. The partner can’t run till he or she is tapped. Once they have practiced and understand the rules of a relay race vary it:
1. Walking with a beanbag on your head to your partner
2. Walking with a potato in a big spoon in your hand
3. Walking with a small ball or balloon between your legs
5. Walking backwards
6. Bear crawl
7. Pushing a car or other toy with wheels
Stand facing partner. It may help to put pieces of masking tape on the floor so the children know where to stand.
1. Toss ball back and forth
2. One bounce back and forth to each other
3. Roll back and forth to each other
4. While sitting facing each other, roll the ball back and forth
5. Using a safe toddler-size bat, toss the ball and have the toddler try to hit it. Take turns.
Preparation: Use paint sticks and attach a paper plate to the end to make a “racket". Have a racket for each child and a balloon for each pair of children.
Partners can use rackets to bop the balloon back and forth. Supervise toddlers closely when using balloons. Broken pieces of balloons can become a choking hazard.
Preparation: Fill five empty water bottles with sand to use as pins. Have one ball and 5 pins for the pair of students.
One child tries to knock down the pins by rolling the ball while the other child sets the pins back up. Then switch places.