A step stool is something almost all families have and always seems to come in handy around the house and for letting your child reach those higher surfaces. A step stool can be used for so many more things than just a surface to reach those higher places. We love to incorporate step stools into our exercises with kids. These exercises span all ages – and most can provide a bit of a work-out for adults as well! While we are talking about stools some of the pictures will show other items being used. That’s the beauty of it, you can substitute with what you have! You can also round up all those catalogues you have and duct tape them together to just the right height!
- Plank (If you are interested in more plank activities check out our activity cards)
Under Tummy: Try this for younger kids who need a little extra help in getting into and staying in this position. (pretend the picture below is a small stool and the feet are on the ground. Although it can also be used this way too!)
Hands On: This is great for kids that have a bit of a difficult time getting into the plank position on flat ground!
Feet On: This bumps up the challenge and really makes the upper body and shoulders work!
- Lunges: Placing a step stool under a foot adds in an extra balance challenge and also increases the hip and core demand.
Back Foot On: Make sure to stay up on toes! (the BOSU can be used to increase the challenge)
Front Foot On: Make sure to keep foot fully flat! This works best with shorter height step stools. (Just reverse the above picture for this activity!)
- Jump downs
Jumping down can sometimes be a scary activity. We love a step stool for the familiarity and shorter height it provides to help make this task easier. Using this in an obstacle course or completing repetitively is also a great endurance activity and will help to burn some of that energy off! If your little one is still learning to jump you may need to give them a little help at their arms!
Start by standing on top of the step-stool, tap one foot (or just the toes) on to the stool, then back to the floor, then switch legs. We absolutely love this activity to practice standing on one foot
- Sit-to stand: We love this activity for new walkers and school age children alike!
New walkers: Using a step-stool can help place your child a bit closer into standing, making the fear that is sometimes associated with the transition a bit easier to overcome
Older children: This is a great activity to use as a strengthening exercise! Standing up from a low surface without using hands to help really targets the hip muscles!