With the rainy season beginning to hit us I was inspired to pull out my kid persona and go play in the rain (or the puddles)! You’d be amazed at how motivated kids get to go in a puddle. As long as the parents are okay with us going outside and we have the proper gear puddles are fun.
For some of my kids who are working on bike riding I use a little reverse psychology and tell them ‘Whatever you do, don’t get my bike wet’. They immediately head toward the puddle. This is really fun for a kiddo who uses an adapted tricycle and we are working on continuous motion such as pedaling. It amazing how many times he can pedal in a row without stopping when he’s heading toward the puddle. We actually finish our bike ride in almost 1/2 the time because there’s so much motivation and tons of puddles.
You can also work on jumping skills!
- jumping forward into the puddles
- jumping over the puddles
- jump up and down multiple times in a row in the puddle
- hop on one foot through the puddle
- do spinning jumps in the puddle (see who can make it all the way back facing forward in just one jump)
- leap from puddle to puddle to practice push off and spring
Stomping skills are great too!
- stomp in the puddle to see who makes the biggest splash (to work on putting your foot down with force)
- works on single leg stance if you have them pause for a count of (however long you want) before they get to try to splash you with their stomp
- works on foot clearance and hip flexion by exaggerating the lift up in order to get a bigger splash (you can experiment with if splashes are bigger if the foot starts higher or lower in the air)
Balance skills with puddles are a hit too!
- get out some stepping stones or stepping stools and create a path for the kiddo to walk over so they don’t fall into the puddle
- you can put a string across the puddle and pretend it is a tightrope so they don’t fall into the lake below
- or bring out a 2×4 and make a bridge across the lake
Some other ideas are:
- racing to see who can get to the puddle first (using running, skipping, galloping, etc)
- tip toe through the puddle trying not to splash
- try to step over the puddle without stepping in it to work on step length
What are your ideas for rainy day PT and puddle fun?