5 Gross Motor Toys for Survival When Stuck Indoors 1->3 years old

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Winters can be long in some parts of the country. Although winter is short for us, temperature needs to be in the 70s for one and two years olds to go to the playground. Having a boy who loves to climb and jump, these toys are life savers for us when stuck in door for a whole week at a time.
With an active kid, I’ve noticed that gross motor toys spark a particular interest when motor skill development kicks in around 8 to 9 months of age. Leveraging that interest, I’ve tried to expand on it by using toys for gross motor to help him in other areas such as concentration, sleep and sensory.
As JJ’s gross motor skills increased, I slowly gathered these toys one at a time . As he gets older, I’m hoping to add to the list and grow it to about 10 items by the time my son is 4 years old.

Check out our other post on Gross Motor Toys for Preschoolers.

These gross motor skill toys not only helped to develop his gross motor skills, they also taught him to avoid danger at the playground; increase his concentration; enable him to sleep better; and fulfill his sensory needs.
Here’s a video of JJ’s moves at 1 year old. You can see some of the toys being used in this video. The video is taken around 22 months. All of these toys were the corner stone to sharpening his agility. When watching the video, in particular I notice the improvement of his concentration. This improvement is probably the biggest win from all that time spent playing with the toys.


The average play time for the toys were about 1 hour. That means a lot of happy mommy’s “me” time for me. I hope you will find these toys helpful for your family.  The list is in the order when I introduced them at the age of 8 months old.

1) Bean Bag Chair (8 months onwards)

The sheer massiveness of this bean bag chair means a lot of quality family time spent on this bag as well as working out his gross motor skills. It’s a two person bean bag chair. If your family is short like mine, three people will fit nicely. When my son was learning to walk, I put the chair next to the wall where he would be able to walk on it holding onto the wall. If he fell, he had a soft landing. Later on, he learned to balance himself by walking on it. As he got older, he jumps on the hill of the bean bag. He also loves crashing into it.
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2) Stepping Buckets (1 year onwards)

These buckets acted as his first balance beam after he learned to walk. I held his hand when he walked on it. He would sit on the buckets to eat his snacks and generally hang out on it when he was a baby. Now, he jumps from bucket to bucket as I set the buckets up as a part of an obstacle course.
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3) Slide (1 year onwards)

Having an indoor slide is amazing. We used the slide to make a fort, we used the slide to play house. We also used the slide as a car ramp. It’s useful not just as a gross motor toy. The imagination runs rampant when the interest is sparked.
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4) Trampoline (16 months onwards)

This is the best toy for any child with sensory needs. My son went on a jumping rampage when he learned to jump at 22 months. Rather than having him jump from the couch, It was much safer on a trampoline. I used it to redirect his jumps.
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5) Balance Beam (16 months onwards)

This is a step up from the buckets when my son improved in gymnastics. He plays on the balance beam as a part of his bedtime routine. He walks and jumps on it. Sometimes, he will use it as a gate and setup his animals in it to play imaginary fort games. It’s amazing to see how a gross motor toy can be used with a little imagination.
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These 5 gross motor toys will guarantee indoor time with preschoolers in the winter will be fun. Click to read more.

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