What is a super fun toy I can make for my toddler that will help with gross motor skills development?
It’s time for a new toddler series and this one is perfect for my Smiley Man. If you’ve been following my blog for a long time, you may recall that Smiley Man had a gross motor delay that caused him to walk several months late. He did eventually learn to walk, but we continued to work on gross motor skills for my toddler. Unfortunately, I’ve kind of stopped working on improving gross motor skills with Smiley Man the last few months and recently I’ve noticed that Smiley Man could use some extra help.
Anyway (sorry for that long explanation), this new toddler series is all about gross motor development for toddlers. It will mainly consist of awesome games that will make gross motor development easy and fun. And when I say fun, I really mean fun! Today’s activity is a great example of that.
Homemade Lightsaber Tutorial
Start with one (or two, or three, or four) regular sized pool noodles. They don’t need to be fancy, so feel free to use the ones from the dollar store. That’s where ours are from. Cut each pool noodle in half with a sharp serrated knife.
Wrap the bottom 8-10 inches with duct tape. Start by covering the bottom of the pool noodle, then wrap the duct tape around until it is the height you want.
If you want, decorate the duct tape with a permanent marker or electrical tape in order to make it look more like a light saber. I used a permanent marker to decorate ours and it had already faded after one playing session, so I would definitely recommend the electrical tape rather than a permanent marker.
And tada! A super fun toy that will greatly enhance gross motor development. My boys often have “ninja karate fights” with my amazing husband when he gets home from work. He does an amazing job testing their gross motor limits by tackling (gently, of course), pretend fighting, and doing general rough and tumble play. The homemade lightsabers have been a great way to make “ninja karate fights” even more fun. Plus, I love that the boys use the lightsabers with Dad so that he can make sure they aren’t hitting the face, hitting too hard, being too mean, etc. He’s a great referee.
So far, these homemade lightsabers haven’t been too hard to play with. That was obviously a concern of mine since Smiley Man is only two and always takes part in the “ninja karate fights.” As long as your children are play fighting and not actually trying to hurt someone, these homemade lightsabers are a fun and easy way to improve gross motor development. The swinging action alone builds strong arm muscles and the blocking and ducking actions are even better for gross motor. I’m pretty sure girls would find these homemade lightsabers fun, too!
*Want to see more themed activities like this for toddlers or preschoolers? Check out our store page where our toddler and preschool series are compiled into Activity Packs for only $1.99! The Activity Packs are full of lesson plans, printables, and a curriculum guide.