Fundamental Movement Skills

Under 5s Fundamental Movement Skills Banner 

Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) provide the building blocks for many physical activities, such as playing games, dance, and sport. “Having these skills is an essential part of enjoyable participation and a lifelong interest in an active lifestyle” (Developing FMS Manual, Sport NZ).

Fundamental movement skills are important to the motor development of children’s physical, cognitive, and social growth. There are three categories in which the fundamental skills fit: Locomotor, Stability and Manipulative.

Below you will find lists of activities which assist in the development of these fundamental movement skills.





  • Walking and running
  • Jumping
  • Hopping
  • Dodging


Stability and Balance

  • Rotation
  • Stability and Balance


Environment and Equipment

  • Bean Bags
  • Jungle Gym
  • Hoops
  • Hot Spots
  • Scarves


Games and Activities

This section focuses on different games that incorporate fundamental movement skills, and looking at ways in which they can be modified for different age groups and used to teach a variety of skills.

  • Rob the Nest
  • Stuck in the Mud
  • Everybody's It Tag
  • Follow the Leader
  • Rats and Rabbits
  • Battleships
  • Hand Push
  • Grinch Stole Christmas


Refresher Activities

We often get requests for ideas of short ‘refresher activities’ that can be used to re-energise children between lessons.
So here are some short cross curricula activities that cater towards all levels including under-fives and that link into Fundamental Movement Skill development.

  • Litterbox
  • Stop and Scribble
  • Morning Routine
  • Hit the Deck
  • Factor it in
  • As If
  • Memory Lane
  • Act it out
  • Bear, Mosquito, Salmon
  • Pink toe
  • Brain Exercises
  • Get on that Chair
  • Elf Express!

For more ideas on developing fundamental movement skills see Sport NZ's Developing Fundamental Movement Skills manual.