Gross Motor Tic Tac Toe

What you’ll need:

– 1 piece of paper – Pen or pencil – 2 different colored markers – A coin for tossing

Starting with a blank sheet of paper, draw a tic-tac-toe board or click here to print. Fill each square of the board with a good mix of exercises that will both challenge and encourage your kiddo. With the paper now complete and on the floor a few feet in front of you, use the coin and toss it until it lands on a square. Complete the exercise listed in the square on which you landed. Once you have completed the exercise, use a colored marker to mark your square with any letter to show it has been completed by you—this can be a good exercise for kids just learning how to draw their letters! Now it is the next player’s turn. Keep playing until someone completes three activities in a row, or the entire board is filled. Have more than two kids that want to play? Make each of them a separate board and have them race to see who can fill their board first!


Tic Tac Toe

    • Frog Jumps: as listed above
    • Jumping jacks: good coordination task for younger kids learning to coordinate jumping skills with other activities. Cue this via star (legs and arms out) and pencil (arms and legs in). Increase speed for increased difficulty
    • Scissor jumps: higher level jumping coordination task for older kids
      • Legs only: legs jumping in opposition to one other like a scissor cutting a piece of paper (one forward one back, then switch)
      • Legs with Ipsilateral Arm motion: same arm same leg is forward, then jump and switch. Increased coordination difficulty
      • Legs with Contralateral Arm motion: leg with opposite arm forward, then switch. Increased coordination difficulty from stated above
    • Sit ups: for core strengthening, can perform from a pillow for younger kids or those with decreased core strength to perform through a decreased range of motion
    • Modified pushups: focus on arm and core strengthening, taking note to avoid sagging at the hips or hip hiking with bottom up in the air
    • Swimmers: lying on the belly, lifting arms and legs up off the ground and moving arms and legs in a swimming motion. Targets back, neck, and hip extensor strength while integrating a coordination task
      • Can perform with legs only for decreased challenge
      • Can perform with arms and legs lifted up off the ground only, without swimming, to perform a super man pose and focus solely on extensor strengthening
    • Side lunges: targets balance, coordination, and leg and hip strengthening, taking note to avoid knee tracking over toes, while sitting bottom back
    • Forward lunge: more appropriate for younger kids as compared to side lunges. Targets balance, coordination, and leg and hip strength, taking note to control the lowering and avoid knee crashing into ground
    • Toe raises: strengthens calf muscles and balance. Perform off of a step for increased range of motion to add a stretch


Have questions about your child’s gross motor skills?

Visit our website for a checklist of age appropriate skills and more fun ideas:
Mariah Cottrill, PT, DPT Physical Therapist