By: Laura Donatello, PT, DPT
When heavy rain and snow hit, it leaves kids indoors for the day with a lot of energy to burn. While playing in the snow and rain can be fun, freezing temperatures and wet, icy conditions have us stuck inside. Instead of reaching for the remote or the Ipad, here are some fun activities you can do with your child to satisfy their energetic needs.
This total body strengthening activity targets shoulder stability as a child pushes an object at or below shoulder height with straight arms, core to change direction, and lower extremities to power forward.
Push/Pull Activity Ideas:
Hide some of your child’s favorite toys in a large open room. Have your child push a laundry basket around the room, and fill up the cart with toys. You can place toys at various heights, encouraging your child to stand on their toes, climb a couch cushion, or squat down to retrieve a toy. Pay attention to the type of flooring in the room. When using a plastic laundry basket, carpet will generally be more challenging to push against, and hardwood/tile will be easier.
- Have a race to see how fast he/she can push the basket to the end of the hall to retrieve a toy, and back. Races can be against siblings or parents, or be in the form of a relay race.
- Tie a string to the basket to make this a pulling activity.
The possibilities are endless with obstacle courses. You can encourage your child to help create, set up, and clean up the course. Maybe incorporate your child’s favorite play scheme; he/she has to navigate the course to place a puzzle piece in the puzzle, feed their favorite doll, or animal. You can add multiple activities together, or just focus on a few. There are many gross motor skills that can be incorporated such as walking, jumping, balancing on one foot, and hopping.
Obstacle Course Ideas
- Lay out couch cushions on the floor for your child to step on, jump over, or climb through. Maybe even jump from cushion to cushion.
- Navigate a hopscotch course made out of tape on the floor. This can be modified into many different patterns such as a few boxes in a row, column, diagonal, or in a traditional hopscotch pattern. Your child can walk, jump, or hop from square to square.
- Crawl or squat under a string tied across two chairs.
- Walk on a bubble wrap road, walk across a taped line, or both!
- Crumple up old newspapers and grab a laundry basket to play newspaper basketball. For a balance challenge, have your child stand on a cushion or one leg to make a basket.
Create a six-sided dice out of cardboard and tape. On each side draw or print out a picture of a different activity such as clapping, jumping jacks, running in place, jumping, heel raises, and dancing. You can also create another dice with numbers on each side to determine how many times or seconds to complete an activity for.
Whatever activity you choose, be sure to have fun with it!
Easter Seals DuPage & Fox Valley enables infants, children, and adults with disabilities to achieve their maximum independence, and to provide support for the families who love and care for them. If you have questions on your child’s development and need an evaluation, contact us at 630.282.2022.