Exercises and therapeutic activities to enjoy at home with little or no equipment. Most of the items you may already have! Here are some ideas and suggestions for therapeutic activities you can do at home with your children. Most important rule: have fun and be creative!
- Bridges: Child lays on back in a bridge position and lifts from floor. Child can create a “bridge” for cars to pass under them or can lift up a stuffed animal. https://www.instagram.com/p/B-AE4unhjiX/?igshid=256lc7kfda24
- Tall kneel position: Child is on knees with core upright and straight (not sitting on heels). This play position engages core. https://www.instagram.com/p/B63aWbfBXaY/?igshid=k7edezchdhjm
- Quadruped position: Child in on all fours like a “bear”. Have them practice holding that position first. To make this activity more challenging have child kick out and alternate each leg while maintaining the “bear” position. https://www.instagram.com/p/B2RqLDjgL5x/?igshid=ntjxe0ofsbjc
- Sitting on an unstable surface: Sit on a pillow in a “crisscross applesauce position”, in tall kneel or seated on a therapy ball if available. Child can sit on the unstable surface to listen to a book, color, draw or listen to a song. https://www.instagram.com/p/B1buTRLBppR/?igshid=1vzg75411xt4t
- Animal airplane ride: Child holds animal or toy between ankles with knees bent and moves it up and down or side to side. Legs extended holding animal between ankles makes activity more challenging. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv1nFbdhnx8/?igshid=m7bf1cm0htqf
- Quadruped alternating upper extremity with stickers: Child is in all fours like the “bear” position listed above and extends and alternates arms in front of them weight shifting from one side to another. https://www.instagram.com/p/BtR_20BhSTj/?igshid=1p94go7fi4mfq
- Tall kneel ball pass with sibling: Child maintains upright tall kneel position and can play “hot potato” with sibling passing item back and forth. For more of a challenge they can toss a ball to each other while maintaining a tall kneel position. https://www.instagram.com/p/BsDytDBhnZl/?igshid=1f0krwcp7i5k
Lower extremity strengthening for stability
- Squatting activity: Can be done with anything; retrieving snack from container on a low surface or putting away toys in bins. Make sure child is bending at knees and not solely using their trunk to bend. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxc4XFQhU_z/?igshid=1pvr8zaosgorq
- Cone taps: Balancing on one leg touching cones with other foot. Can be done at a counter or surface for added support if needed. https://www.instagram.com/p/BwHznWfhtRh/?igshid=srwam4ngjpq0
- Standing on an unstable surface: Tapping cones or simply standing on a pillow reaching outside base of support. https://www.instagram.com/p/BKSAq5BQju/?igshid=193ss5ei99865
- Step ups to place stickers on a piece of paper mounted on the wall: Can be done stepping up in a forwards direction or sideways for more of a challenge.https://www.instagram.com/p/B9HfcsEBbwH/?igshid=1mg9ff0aq22ce
- Animal rides: Place animal on leg and lift forwards or sideways for more of a challenge. https://www.instagram.com/p/B8ULYMOhxnD/?igshid=16bc914hyhvhf
- Foot and arch strengthening: Placing and transferring crayons or other small toys in bins on the floor using feet. This activity also challenges dynamic balance and the ability to stand on one leg. Do next to counter so child can use for support if needed. https://www.instagram.com/p/B7zfTUIBqhT/?igshid=1s4xms775wzqu
- Obstacle course negotiation: Ideas include but not limited to- pillows, couch cushions, stepping over toys or “hurdles”, crawling under chairs and tables, and following tape on floor for a “balance beam”.
Upper extremity strengthening
- Belly play over a cushion- Position of play can be used while coloring, reading or doing a puzzle: https://www.instagram.com/p/BwKM1k9hFLp/?igshid=1cbdzek8ok286
- Scoop ups over a cushion: Child on belly over cushion scooping items with spoon and transferring them into another container. Weight bearing through forearms and arms build postural support. https://www.instagram.com/p/B4cz-NLBxUc/?igshid=2u2wrej0b8zl
- Wall planks: Holding themselves up against wall with arms straight- have a contest who can hold the longest! https://www.instagram.com/p/BuercSkhBmL/?igshid=3if3ni70ke83
- Theraputty DIY: To strengthen grip and hand muscles- you can make your own with the link listed below or simply freeze play dough to add resistance. Have child practice manipulating it with cookie cutters or rolling it into shapes. https://pin.it/3ewdVgo
- Spray bottle games: Strengthen grip and hand muscles: a. Stack cups and have them aim and spray the cups down. Good for eye hand coordination, aim and accuracy- a precursor for developing ball skills. b. Spray water to erase sidewalk chalk. c. Water plants.
- DIY sensory bin: https://pin.it/6i6WnGA Pinkoatmeal and starfishtherapies are resources online that have a ton of other fun activities to perform as well!
Fun resources and links
- Gonoodle.com Gross and fine motor movement breaks categorized into age and energy level you are striving to achieve.
- Cosmic kids yoga: story telling yoga while performing therapeutic yoga positions, both entertaining and adorable. cosmickids.com