As pediatric therapists we are often problem solving with our families to try and replicate therapeutic activities in the home. What better time to share some of the tricks we’ve developed over the years than now! Here are some gross motor activities for all ages that you can do with items you have in your home now:
- Practice independent sitting! Allow your little one to explore the boundaries of their sitting balance in a safe and controlled setting
- Turn it into a ball pit!
- Fill it with other toys and household items and have them push/pull it. Depending on their age you can make it heavier or lighter.
- Use it as a target for a game. You can incorporate other learning as well by sorting colors, matching letters, or incorporating number/point themes as well!
- Make it part of an obstacle course
- Go for a ride in it with a parent or older sibling pulling you OR pull/push your younger sibling
- Use it to prop up new sitters or to practice kneeling with infants
- Practice crawling up and down them. Bonus: put a lot out and about to work on core strength and endurance.
- Stack them up to work on pulling into standing
- Leave them on the couch and practice cruising around or transitioning between couches and tables/chairs
- Pile them up with blankets and pillows to make a crashpad for practicing jumping into
- Line them up to work on walking on unstable surfaces
- Make paths to follow in all different shapes. Try walking across them in different ways: backward, sideways, like a bear etc. Or shape them into letters or numbers.
- Place objects along the path and get some squats in too!
- Tape out a hopscotch course
- Tape lines on the floor that you jump over in all different ways – forward, sideways, backwards, spin jump. Or put a piece on the wall and see how high you can jump
- Make targets for throwing or kicking (with soft indoor items – rolled up socks work great!)
Old Phone/Text Books
- Use them as a prop for sitting or kneeling like the couch cushion
- Use them as a step stool for reaching items or for sitting on and practicing sit to stands
- Line them up to make a balance beam
- Put a little space between them and practice jumping on and off
- Hold them while doing squats
- Turn them into “elevators” for toys or trays for pretend food to work in some shoulder strength
There are so many more ideas where these come from! What fun at home tricks do you use?