When it’s too Hot to go Outside

Being able to get fresh air and run around the playground is vital to children’s development.  It helps them expend energy, build muscles, and improve coordination. Unfortunately, these needs do not go away during a heatwave or even a few days of rainy weather. That is why it is so important for early learning programs to create a plan for indoor gross motor play.

According to Caring for Our Children (

For days in which weather does not permit outdoor play, the facility is encouraged to provide an alternate place for gross motor activities indoors for children of all ages. This space could be a dedicated gross motor room or a gym, a large hallway, or even a classroom in which furniture has been pushed aside. The room should provide adequate space for children to do vigorous activities including running.

Once you have identified a proper space, you can determine the types of activities that children try. There should be a wide variety of activities that promote all areas of gross motor development. Some activities will require safety equipment, such as mats, so plan accordingly based on the available materials.

Skills to practice:

  • Balancing
  • Walking/running
  • Jumping
  • Lifting
  • Tossing
  • Kicking
  • Climbing

One important thing to keep in mind is the importance of activities that encourage children to cross the mid-line of their body with their arms.

To promote this movement, you can incorporate dancing activities, yoga and stretching, and games like Simon Says and Hot Potato. You could also create obstacle courses or have children draw activities out of a hat that ask children to cross the mid-line.

How do you adapt gross motor activities during inclement weather in your program?