We have definitely been in a rainy season recently, and we are not complaining about this, especially with all the snow that has been falling in the mountains! That being said, the rain makes it difficult to practice skills like bike riding, that are easier to do outside. So, we decided to get creative.
Bike riding requires so many components to be successful. First there is getting the pedaling down and being able to propel consistently across space. Then there is being able to steer in a straight line and navigate around turns and obstacles. None of this even takes into consideration maintaining balance once the training wheels are gone – that takes steering to a whole other level because there is much less room for error if they have trouble holding their arms still while pedaling the bike.
So the therapists here figured out ways to work on the coordination of pedaling and holding arms steady for steering, even when they couldn’t get on the bike!
First way is to use WiiFit Plus. There is a game under Training Plus called Island Cycling. This game allows you to stand on the board and hold the wand. The object is to march in place (like you are pedaling) and use the wand to steer the bike. Some common pitfalls we have seen is that the upper body moves with the legs so there is a lot of side to side motion, or when the arms and upper body are still the legs stop marching! This takes coordination to get your body to do two things at once (think of patting your head and rubbing your stomach).
Next is to have them lie on their back. They are going to hold something in their hands straight up above them towards the ceiling. The goal is to hold this steady. Then they are going to move their feet one at a time. They can march their feet (when the knees are bent), or they can slide their heels in and out, or if they have good abs they can do a bicycle motion with their legs! This gives a little more support than the Wii because the back is stabilized.
There are a lot of other variations you can do with this idea of holding the upper body still while moving the lower body. You could do any of the above while sitting on a therapy ball or standing with your back against the wall.
What are some ideas you’ve tried?