We are so excited to have a guest post from Emily Heisey of @Kinesio_Kids! She is a Pediatric Physical Therapist and shares so many of her amazing ideas for kids on her instagram page which you should definitely go follow! She also has an Amazon Store with toy recommendations broken down by ages.
Read on to learn her recommendations for getting kids moving!
Piggy backing off @starfishtherapies post on hypotonia, children with low muscle tone actually exerts 2-3x more energy than a child with typical muscle tone. Why? Because the muscles that surround the joints have less resting tightness and therefore their joints move through greater range of motions. More motion=more work……. So what do we do with this information and how does it relate to my child with “hypotonia”. Well let’s take a look…
The more energy a task requires the less likely a child with low tone will be willing to perform it.
Lets’s dive into my Top Ten Tips and Tricks to get your kiddo moving and excited to work their muscles….
1. Do it with them: Children love doing things with their parents.
Walking up inclines helps with frequent falls, poor endurance in walking and is great for flexible flat feet
2. Make it a competition: If mom or dad can do it, then I can do it better! Nothing pushes a child more than competition.
This challenging tummy exercise is great for older kiddos ages 5 and up
3. Make it a playdate: Get friends together or even other siblings and moving will seem like a party.
Obstacle courses with painter’s tape is great for multiple kids and challenges a child’s endurance and strength
4. Make it creative: Balancing and core work can be challenging, So let’s spice it up….
Picking up colored cotton balls with feet is great for balancing on one foot but I really love it for kiddos with flat pronated feet. This activity strengthens the arch of the foot making it stronger for walking and jumping.
5. Lower your expectations of how long your child will attend to the activity: Promote success first.
Don’t place 20 puzzle pieces or 15 blocks to stack for your child to complete. Choose a challenging position. Start with 4-5 then go up from there.
6. Play with something messy: Kiddos forget how challenging an exercise is when you add something exciting.
Shaving cream, finger paint, and pudding are great examples of messy play
7. Give life to an old toy: Finding a new use for a familiar toy can engage interest and motivation.
Instead of jumping on a trampoline try throwing a weighted ball towards it to work on coordination and arm strength
9. Don’t use traditional toys: Try everyday household items instead.
Pushing and pulling a weighted laundry basket is great for building muscle strength (and maybe you’ll get laundry help!)
10. Make movement apart of your everyday routine: This allows it to become habit and doesn’t feel like you are making them do work.
Add an unstable base to any chore and you’re working those ankles, core and challenging your balance
Who is Dr. Emily Heisey?
Hello! My name is Emily Heisey and I’m the mother of two beautiful girls, Hannah and Heidi, and wife to Dr. Christopher Heisey. I’m also an active member of Compass Church here in Colleyville, Texas.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University (go Mustangs!) I headed off to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where I received a Doctorate of Physical Therapy.
Since 2009, I’ve worked in a pediatric setting. My day to day for years included working in both the outpatient and home health settings, focusing on developmental delay, neurological disorders and Torticollis.
My passion lies in understanding how our bodies work and guiding littles like yours and mine on the path to a healthy life. I hope that through the information on this website, your children are able to develop the skills needed to grow and develop into the best versions of themselves!