Locomotor play is a type of physical activity that involves the use of gross motor skills to move around an environment. This form of physical activity has been shown to be beneficial for developing motor skills, coordination, balance, and physical fitness. The purpose of this article is to review the literature regarding the benefits of locomotor play for children, and to provide recommendations for educators and parents on how to encourage and facilitate this type of physical activity.

Various studies have been conducted on the benefits of locomotor play for children. In a 2018 study, researchers found that when preschool-aged children participated in locomotor activities such as walking, running, hopping, and skipping, they experienced increased physical fitness, improved coordination, and enhanced balance. Additionally, research has found that locomotor activities can help children develop their gross motor skills, such as the ability to run, jump, and move in different directions.

Locomotor play is also beneficial for improving children’s physical and mental health. Studies have shown that engaging in physical activity such as running, jumping, and hopping can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, as well as build self-confidence and a positive attitude. Furthermore, participating in physical activities like these can help children develop better social skills, allowing them to interact more effectively with their peers.

In order to encourage and facilitate locomotor play, educators and parents can create various activities and games. For example, creating obstacle courses or scavenger hunts can help children engage in physical activity while having fun. Additionally, providing open spaces for children to run and play in can help them feel more comfortable and relaxed. Finally, providing the necessary safety equipment, such as helmets, can help ensure the safety of the children while playing.

In conclusion, locomotor play is an important form of physical activity that can provide numerous benefits for children. This type of physical activity can help children develop their gross motor skills, improve their coordination, balance, and physical fitness, and also improve their mental and social health. Educators and parents should create activities and games to encourage and facilitate locomotor play, and provide the necessary safety equipment to ensure the safety of the children.


Lan, L. L., Chiang, C. L., Wu, C. Y., & Chen, S. Y. (2018). Effects of locomotor activities on physical fitness, coordination and balance in preschool-aged children. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 23(3), 239–252. https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2016.1205854

Müller, K. (2019). Promoting physical activity in children: The importance of movement education, play, and outdoor learning. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 753. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00753

Stacey, E., & Okely, A. (2017). Children’s physical activity and motor development. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 45(2), 98–104. https://doi.org/10.1249/jes.0000000000000152

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