Different names but all one and the same activity. Do you remember these from when you were young? Sitting as child on an adult lap and bouncing or swaying in time to a tune or poem. Knee bounces are a wonderful activity for so many reasons. Common benefits include a child spending time engaged with the parent or learning new rhythms and vocabulary from poem or hearing and feeling a beat at the same time. Not commonly known are the therapeutic benefits from knee bounces.
Lap bounces can be a wonderful way to encourage eye contact and language. When a child requests more, as therapists and parents, we typically ask for eye contact and the initiation of movement or the utterance of a word or phrase or sign. These help with the development of language by having a shared, enjoyable activity that elicits communication to repeat the desired activity.
More sneaky therapeutic benefits are trunk strengthening and balance responses. Completing the knee bounces slowly and pausing at the end range is a fun way to work on trunk strengthening and giving the child the chance to initiate a response to the loss of balance in a secure and fun way.
Another therapeutic benefit includes eye (ocular) and inner ear (vestibular) exercises. When a child is being moved in space and their eyes are locked onto their reflection in a mirror or to the parent’s face it helps to teach them how to use these two senses to tell where they are in space and how to right themselves.
Please give lap bounces a try. Look up lap bounces on the internet and see what you find or click on this link for one example, YouTube Video.
Please let us know what you find and if this works for you.