10 Activities For Improving Motor Planning In Adults

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Planning hands and legs to make out a task is needed. Be it simple daily tasks like tying shoelaces or brushing teeth to any complex tasks, everyone needs a proper organization of their motor skills. 

While it is crucial for little learners, older adults may also need them to make sure to perform tasks fruitfully. As the need and level of understanding differ with age, teaching style and the process can be twisted. Accordingly, we here listed out crafted motor planning activity ideas that may be fitting to train adults. 

Motor planning- Digging into its essence!

Motor planning is the ability of an individual to identify, retain and perform a set of small steps to make a particular movement accomplished. It is an important aspect of learning a new skill, and it is dependent on several factors to develop:

  • Sensory Feedback from the body and their movements through the environment.
  • Memory and postural skills
  • Fine and gross motor skills, and 
  • Cognitive function.

 One of the most effective methods to assist a developing youngster or adult is to provide a rich environment full of opportunities for motor planning practice. This could include taking them to parks on a regular basis or enrolling them in a Gym, swimming class, or gymnastics. These activities can assist us in moving and doing everything from lifting heavy objects to typing on a keyboard. 

How activities can help in enhancing motor planning

Motor planning activities involve the capacity to come up with an idea (innovation), organize what to do about the idea which is also called (sequencing), execute the motor task to complete that innovative idea which is (execution), and make adjustments as needed based on feedback from the activity or comments from others. 

Challenge yourself to come up with new, fresh and innovative ideas, establish a plan for what you want to achieve or have on your mind, and practice following through on the goals to strengthen motor planning abilities.  

These are often aimed to involve as many of the senses as possible, the reason behind this is that the more sensations a grown-up receive, the more practice they will have interpreting and understanding them.  Furthermore, this sensory stimulation will aid in the development of a healthier body scheme.  

Advantages of motor planning 

  • Acquire and maintain a broad motor repertoire
  • Individuals can ensure better control over their movements. The tips acquire from this process improve the dynamics of the body towards the environment.
  • Generate predictive compensatory forces that lead to the desired movements straight to the target.
  • Improve Social Skills, they are a crucial part of one’s development. Having strong social skills involves learning how to regulate emotions. 
  • Multiple physical attributes like muscle tone & strength, balance, coordination, and sensory processing are addressed.

Fun Motor planning activities for adults

Not only kids, but adults may also feel it is arduous to plan their movements for a few tasks. Sometimes teaching them with pragmatic activities may work. While you may want to have some campaigns on hand to help adult pupils strengthen their motor planning abilities, the exercises below can be tailored to your specific group of adults’ needs, strengths, and goals.

1. Put up Weights

Put up Weights

To start with, a few items of different weights are procured. They can procure sand in balloons or sacks of varying sizes. 

  • A participant comes and takes the smallest weight. 
  • Holding it in each arm, they raise their arms and take around 10-20 steps.
  • The same is repeated with bigger weights as well. The highest values they employed is noted. 
  • Later these records are evaluated and progress in motor planning is checked.

This simple activity makes hands and legs active by letting players improve their motor abilities.

2. Walk through 

 Walk through 

To start, a map is created on the floor with a chalk piece or paint. The map should be big enough that an individual can traverse it. 

  • They mark the start and end of the maze/map created
  • Now, an adult starts to move through this map with hands crossed.
  • The time period of the whole lap is recorded
  • The one who completes the lap in lesser time is the winner

To increase the complexity, the players can try additional activities in the journey. For example, “rotate and clap” to go forward. 

3. Unveil the Puzzle 

Unveil the Puzzle 

To start this activity, the individual will need a few beads and thick thread.

  • One player takes 3-4 beads and threads them.
  • Now, they make knots on this thread to fasten the beads. They can make multiple knots
  • Now this knotted arrangement is handed over to the practicing individual.
  • The person needs to check the thread to see how and in what pattern each knot is to be unwoven.
  • Now the timer of say 5 minutes starts, and the individual need to unwind and remove the beads within the time span.

This activity needs the player to plan their finger moves to remove the knots, thereby addressing their motor planning skills. Also, the complexity can be increased or decreased as needed.  

4. Yoga and Decks

 Yoga and Decks

To start, they procure a pile of cards with one yoga pose on each of them. Later one player shuffles them and keeps the stack on the table.

  • One player comes and picks five cards from the pile
  • After discerning the postures thoroughly, they arrange these in such a way that they can be performed in a sequential manner.
  • They present this sequence for approval from the leader.
  • Now, they start practicing these postures one after another say 3 times.

This activity can be good morning exercise for adults. Also, Visual-sequential memory skills are implicitly enhanced.

5. Dough and cook

Dough and cook

Mixing dough and cooking tortillas or cake stipulate motor skills. This idea can be implemented as a noteworthy motor planning activity.

  • To start, the players procure flour water, and other ingredients to make dough.
  • A peer gives out an item that the individual needs to prepare. The shape and dish can be as unique as possible. For instance, “a tortilla in the shape of a flower”
  • The player mixes the dough well with their hands. Later they plan how to form a shape beforehand and employ the same strategy to mold the dough.
  • The activity gets accomplished when the dish is prepared

This activity lets the users plan their motor abilities to mold the dough, ensuring motor planning 

6. The Obstacle Course

The Obstacle Course

This game may be challenging.  An obstacle course teaches us how to move our bodies over, under, around, and through a variety of obstacles. 

  • To start, an open place is selected to prepare a track for the race. The twist is that some obstacles are placed on the track. These may include, hurdles, tunnels, climbers, and many more
  • The players are called and are given a couple of minutes to check out the track.
  • At this time, they can plan how to pass through each constraint. 
  • Later, they are made to stand at the start line, and the race starts with the timer being started
  • The one who finishes it first is the winner. 
  • After the race, the winner shares their insights with peers to guide them for better motor planning.

This activity is easy to employ and effective. With collaborative efforts, it can assist all the members to come out with valuable insights and practice of motor planning.

7. Moving Flashlight

Moving Flashlight

This activity can be employed using a flashlight or a laser light. To start with, the players choose an appropriate indoor space suitable to sit and stand for activity. 

  • The activity starts with the player standing in the center of the room and turning off the lights.
  • Now the peer stands at the corner of the room and turns on the flashlight. 
  • The peer moves the flashlight in particular shapes like ovals, circles and other shapes. The indulging adult needs to point fingers at the light and move along with the light. 
  • Later, they can ask to change hands or legs in the process.

Governing the light and commands from the peer, the individuals make working movements and thereby ensuring monitor planning.

8. Jumping Names 

Jumping Names 

This common and well-known exercise is an excellent tool for improving body awareness, coordination, and even fitness. Adults can start the activity at a slower pace and then gradually increase as per their convenience. 

  • To start with, the player chooses one genre and decides to name as many of them as possible. For instance, they may choose a movie to recite the max they can.
  • They start jumping jacks now, and with every jump, they say a new name (movie here)
  • The more names they say, the more points they can get. 
  • The one with more names can be declared the winner.

This activity makes the individual plan continuously to jump as well as say a name simultaneously. This way their motor planning skills can be enhanced.

9. Line and movements

Line and movements

Walking is a good motor encouraging activity. But, with a twist, it can turn into a good motor-planning activity. 

  • The players are taken to an open place like a garden or ground. 
  • One of them makes a start line and an end line on the ground with a gap of around 30 ft.
  • Now, all the participants are made to stand on the start line.
  • One player starts the timer and asks them to walk as slow as possible. 
  • The person needs to take care of hand and leg movements and slowly make muscle movements to move forward.
  • The one who reaches the end line later is the winner.

This activity is simple and yet lets the participants focus on their body movements as they move forward. This way, they can get a better grip on their body, thereby ensuring motor planning.

10. Beat to go 

Beat to go

Dancing is an engaging activity to ensure movement in all parts of the body. Making small changes, we can craft a motor planning activity out of it:

  • To start, players procure four types of instruments- say four types of drums to make varying sounds.
  • Now they assign the beat of each drum to either a hand or a leg. This way, each beat is linked to a hand or a leg.
  • One player takes the position to play these drums in order. 
  • As the beat continues, the other individuals need to raise their hand or leg to dance.
  • For example, for the first beat, they raise their right hand, and for the fourth beat, they raise their left leg.

Conclusion

The activities in this article are intended to improve anyone’s motor planning skills and cerebral development. A stimulating play setting is especially beneficial to people of older age. Apart from the option of medical consultation, these home-based activities can work better.

The activities in this section will assist anyone with normal skills or slight delays in improving motor skills, stimulating neuronal development, and preparing for the cognitive and sensory demands of school. Giving yourself a 30-minute break every day will assist you in acquiring important motor planning abilities.


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