Galloping and skipping are two activities that kids will often do when they are playing. We’re going to talk a little bit about galloping today. When it comes to teaching kids how to gallop, we will try to break it down into steps with cueing and then slowly remove cues and add the steps together.
Here is a way we have found success:
- Figure out what the preferred side is and start with that – you can usually find this by showing them how to gallop and then asking them to do it. Their preferred side would be whichever they lead with.
- Start with short distances having them step out with their lead foot and then sliding their back foot up to it (it doesn’t necessarily have to slide on the ground as long as it just comes forward and touches the heel of their other foot). You can provide visual and verbal cues by doing it simultaneously with them and using the cues “step-slide”.
- Then go a little faster, still as a step and slide motion though. You can continue with the verbal cues but have them do it on their own without you doing it with them simultaneously.
- If speeding it up went ok then we’d add the jump/hop component. This looks like them stepping and then hopping/jumping their feet together. (Not sure this is clear but you are starting to make it into the galloping motion) You can provide visual cues by doing it simultaneously with them and provide verbal cues. Pick words that work for you, maybe “step-jump”.
- Once they get this, you can have them do it just with the verbal cues.
- Next, if you have long items like balance beams or cones or pool noodles you can create borders to help them narrow their stance so they are turned slightly to the side.
- Once they get this you take away the borders and work on increasing speed and distance.
Once they get this side down you can repeat the steps to help them do it with their non-preferred side. I would recommend starting with a few cycles on their preferred side so they have the rhythm down. It can help with carryover.
What are some ways you have been able to teach galloping?