When adults go to PT, they come home with a list of exercises to complete a certain number of times in a row, multiple times each day. These types of orders don’t work very well for children. Instead, we want to try to make therapy fun for kids. One of the things we emphasize with our families is how to include recommended exercises into your child’s daily activities. For instance, you can practice gross motor skills while getting the mail. Help your kiddo step down and up the curb to help him get stronger and challenge his balance. You can also encourage him to push up onto his toes to reach into the box for the mail.
Instead of staying inside on a snow day in order to “do therapy,” go outside and lay in the snow and help your child make snow angels. While sliding her arms up over her head and down again and gliding her legs out and in you will be helping her use her range of motion while allowing her to take part in a normal kid-friendly activity and experience the feel of the cold, wet snow.
It’s not just gross motor tasks that you can incorporate into your routines. A grocery store is a great place to expose your child to a variety of words. You can label the foods, the colors, the smells, the textures. Research has found that kiddos are best prepared for school if they have heard more than 20,000 words a day to grow not only their vocabulary and language skills but also their memory and listening skills. Going to the grocery store also gives kiddos the chance to work on social skills as they meet strangers and maybe even friends or neighbors.
If you would like some more ideas about how to support your kiddos growth and development reach out for an evaluation. Our therapists at Kid Physical have over 32 combined years experience offering specialized, holistic healthcare for children of all ages. Our top priority is providing support for both caregivers and children so that they can reach their highest potential.