Toys that Help Develop Large Motor Skills


It’s important that children work the large groups of muscles in their arms and legs. At our preschool, we make sure our toddlers and preschoolers get time outdoors and in our gym. We researched carefully before buying our toys that help develop large motor skills. In this collection, I’ve included our favorites.

I’d love to hear what your children’s favorite large motor toys are! Please share in the comments section!


Toys that Help Develop Large Motor Skills - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

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Toys that Help Develop Large Motor Skills

Our toddlers and preschoolers love to rock in these chairs and then turn them over and balance on top. There are endless ways you can use these chairs! The benefits include stimulating creativity, improving hand-eye coordination, strengthening the core, improving balance, and helping with sensory issues.

These small square boards can be used in many ways. We added short ropes to ours so that the preschoolers can pull each other. Here is an article that shares the benefits of using scooter boards for fine motor development.
Toys that Help Develop Large Motor Skills - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Our balance beam can be used in 3 ways: without the stand, so it sits directly on the floor (toddlers), on the stand, with a wide base (younger preschoolers), and on the stand, with a narrow base (older preschoolers). We use the exact brand and model that is pictured above and it’s held up strong for over a decade!

 We have 2 different types of tunnels (one is like the tunnel that is pictured above), but both allow our preschoolers to crawl on hands and knees from one end to the other, strengthening their upper and lower extremities. Our toddlers love to “hide” in them and play peek-a-boo, too.

We love to use our parachute for group large motor play. We sing songs while lifting and lowering the parachute, moving in circles, and crawling underneath. Our preschoolers also love to pull each other on the parachute! You can read more about the benefits of parachute play here.

We have a variety of balls from small to large and they are all loved by our preschoolers! Playground balls, such as those pictured above, are very durable. We’ve had them for years and have only needed to replace a couple of them.

It takes awhile to master balancing the hoop and swinging it around the waist, but this is a favorite even if that skill hasn’t been mastered yet. We use them to roll across the room (and then chase them!) and on the floor to hop in and out of. They’ve been part of obstacle courses and have been turned into cars and horses and trains.

Tossing balls into basketball hoops is an important large motor toy because preschoolers need to use both legs, both arms, and cross over the midline of the body. Make sure the hoop can be adjusted to your child’s height.

Bouncy balls (also known as Hoppity Hops and Hippity Hop Balls) are a good way to develop balance and body coordination. They work well indoors and out!

 Toys that Help Develop Large Motor Skills - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
The wood rocking boat (we own the brand and model shown above) is loved by all our preschoolers! It seats 2-4 children. When you turn it over, it becomes a set of stairs.

Preschool Large Motor Play
What are your favorite toys for active play?


Here are some good articles about the importance of large motor play:


Toys that Help Develop Large Motor Skills - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

More active ideas for young children:

music and movement for preschoolers    Action Art     action songs for preschoolers


Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

About Sheryl Cooper

Sheryl Cooper is the founder of Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds, a website full of activities for toddlers and preschoolers. She has been teaching this age group for over 15 years and loves to share her passion with teachers, parents, grandparents, and anyone with young children in their lives.


  1. Stephanie Schuler says:

    Always great to see toys that are designed for helping kids out! Thanks for sharing these!

  2. Kate Lloyd says:

    Great post with fabulous ideas for play. Often we can look more to FINE motor than gross motor activities. Thanks for this.

  3. Rachel Brown says:

    How fun and such great suggestions! I too am ‘guilty’ of focusing a lot more on fine motor development without specifically emphasizing gross motor activities. I love these ideas 🙂

  4. Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Mummy) says:

    The tunnel is a favourite in our house.

    • Sheryl Cooper says:

      And after reading about how important it is for developing the arms, core and legs, I am making sure ours is being used more often!

  5. I need to get our tunnel out… I too tend to focus on fine motor for some reason.

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  6. Meredith @ Homegrown Friends says:

    Sheryl I’ve never seen those Bilibo chairs before! Do you know what age/weight they work for?

  7. Sheryl Cooper says:

    Hi Meredith! The company says the chairs are meant for ages 2-7 (younger children tip over in them and need help getting back up), but older children seem to like them as well. As for weight, I think as long as your rear end can fit in one, you are fine. They are quite durable! 🙂

  8. I love those Bilibo chairs, and have wanted some for a long time. However, they are out of our price range. Someday though, they are awesome!

    • Sheryl Cooper says:

      Hi Jenn – keep checking Amazon as sometimes they can have good deals, or perhaps you can find one used. They are worth every penny if you do have that extra cash. 🙂

  9. Amy Walters says:

    I have 4 Bilbo chairs and they have been used for so many things. The kids love them. They sure did make the enter go by a little faster…