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Pillow Play

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

This next post continues our focus on gross motor development, which exists as the building block foundation for fine motor tasks. This time we use pillows as a way to stay active indoors! Engaging in play can build so many skills.

person holding pillows pillow play to build motor skills children by kozie clothes


  • Pillow of different sizes and structures

  • Masking Tape/Electrical Tape etc.

  • Other items found around your home

Sensory Benefits:

  • Motor Planning

  • Sequencing Movements

  • Visual Motor Skills

  • Balance

  • Stabilization

  • Vestibular/Proprioceptive

  • Tactile

  • Motor Control & Coordination

  • Attention Skills

  • Auditory Skills

  • Enhanced Confidence & Fun

  • Social Skills

Balance Beam Pillow Walking Challenge:

Gather a variety of pillows made of different textures and sizes and lining them up one against the next, making a pillow-path. To up the challenge, try walking with another pillow on your head, carrying a plastic egg on a spoon, or walking quickly to music and holding your position when the music stops. Giggles will happen!

Crawling Race:

Mark a start and finish line. As your child is on their hands and knees, place a pillow on your child’s back and initiate crawling races. Pile more pillows on their back one at a time to see how many they can balance.

For Other Variations:

place a pillow on top of their head for walking races, and in between their knees for jumping races.

Build A Fort:

Present your child with the pillows, blankets, and sheets in a pile. Give them the guidelines on what furniture can be used to build a fort. Have your child motor plan building this fort with the items allowed. Have them do the lifting and carrying to build the fort. Increase the challenge by having them sketch a fort with the items presented before they build. Then help them build the fort according to plan. If you see or encounter problems, then you can work through it and modify as needed. You can do this same plan building an obstacle course.

Hot Potato:

Simply play hot potato with a pillow. You will need music for this and the more players the merrier. With someone in control of the music, once it stops the person holding the pillow is “out”. *If you don’t want to have someone out of the game then whisper an animal action for them to act out and then they can rejoin the circle. You can purchase animal action cards here.

Dizzy Pillow Fall:

Pile up pillows all around your child or children, have them spin around to music, when the music stops, they are to fall into the pile of pillows-you will have them laughing! If spinning is too much then try jumping, dancing, shaking.


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