03 Feb Fun Home Activities for Children
Here at Carolina Pediatric Therapy, we provide physical therapy services to children for a variety of reasons. Low muscle tone can result from congenital conditions such as Down syndrome or cerebral palsy, or might develop after injuring a limb or having surgery and not being able to use those muscles for a while. Some kids just naturally have low tone, and could use a little boost to build strength and endurance. We’re happy to work with you to provide a physical therapy (PT) evaluation to assess your child’s needs, and to develop a treatment plan that’s both fun and effective.
Those little muscles don’t need to work only when you’re in our office, though. It’s important to provide strength- and endurance-building activities at home as well. That doesn’t mean putting your child through a rigorous, prescribed workout at home every day; you can use your usual activities, chores, and play time to keep your child’s muscles in shape. Bear in mind that all of these might not be appropriate for your child’s size and ability, so always err on the side of safety.
- Let your child push a small cart (or the full-sized one, if he’s older) at the grocery store. Make it his job to lift items into the cart. An older child might help heft a bag of oranges or potatoes, while a box of muffin mix might be just right for a toddler to handle.
- Take a hike! It doesn’t have to be on a steep mountain trail; just taking a stroll through the park or in your neighborhood gets those muscles working. Remember to take plenty of water and rest as often as needed.
- When the weather is nice, or if you have access to an indoor heated pool, go for a swim. Even if all you have is a kiddie pool, that can work! Have you ever seen a baby or toddler splashing around in one of those? That constant motion is giving his muscles a workout.
- Put on some fun music and have your child help you clean the house. Give him a kid-size mop and let him push it around, have him wash windows with a rag and water, or let him tackle the carpet with a lightweight or hand-held vacuum. Remember to offer lots of praise for a job well done, and don’t expect expert results.
- Speaking of music, get up and dance with your child. Any kind will do, as long as it gets her body moving.
- Give your child a kid-sized rake and let her help you rake leaves in the fall. The best part? Jumping in the piles afterward!
- When you visit the beach, take a walk through the water near the shore. The resistance from the water will provide a more intense workout than just walking on land. Walking through the sand is great too. Just remember to hold your child’s hand; she won’t be quite as stable walking here as on flat, dry land.
- Go to the park! That’s it. Just go and play.
Exercise doesn’t have to feel like work, and the time you spend with your child doing these activities will help build up his or her spirit – and your relationship – along with the muscles! If you think your child could benefit from a PT evaluation, call our office today. We’ll work with you to build the right program both in-office and at home.
Enhance Your Childs Physical Therapy with Fun Home Activities
-April Fox, Staff Writer
Carolina Pediatric Therapy © February 2014