by Melody Katz
Are your children getting antsy? Are you missing your favorite PT and OT? While we are all staying healthy there are simple things you can do at home to have fun, work off some of your child’s energy and best of all help their motor development!
For children not yet sitting:
- Children NEED movement! Roll across the bed to the right and then to the left several times till the giggles abound. If your child is hesitant of movement roll them slowly one time each way and increase as they tolerate and enjoy the movement.
- Put blankets and pillows in a hard square or rectangular laundry basket (or one of the many Amazon boxes we all have) and lie your child down and move them side to side, forward and back and around in circles. Make sure you spin to the right AND to the left stopping in between briefly.
- If your child is light enough, lie them in a sheet or blanket and with the help of a friend or family member, swing them.
- TUMMY TIME, TUMMY TIME, TUMMY TIME! Yes, it is important! Kids love to look at their beautiful selves in the mirror so put a small mirror on the floor or bed while they are on their tummies. If this is hard for them roll a small receiving blanket and put it under your child’s chest to help them lift up higher. Lie on YOUR tummy on the floor facing them. YOU are their best motivator and toy. Sing and be silly!!
For children who are sitting, but not yet crawling:
- All of the above activities still work for your child. They can now sit up in the box or basket while spinning to help improve their core strength and balance.
- Use that empty diaper box or Amazon box with toys on it and help your child play while kneeling.
- If your child is starting to get on their hands and knees sing silly songs and encourage them to rock! Row, Row, Row Your Boat works well for this. Be silly and think of more lyrics!!
Row, row, row your boat
gently down the stream,
Mommy’s going crazy now,
listen to her Scream.
- The above movement activities are still fun and good for them!
- Make a crawling obstacle course! Put folded blankets, rolled towels and pillows on the floor for your child to crawl over! If you have a big box, open at both ends and let your child crawl through it! Good luck keeping up!!
- All the movement activities listed above will still be fun and good for development.
- Make obstacle courses for walkers
Using pillows, fold a towel or blanket to a balance beam shape (a long rectangle 4”-8” wide”), stepstools, big textbooks, different sized boxes with some soup cans inside for stability for different sized steps, pile pillows on the floor to make a mountain and climb up to the sofa or bed. Do you have bubble wrap and other textured packing materials? They are really fun to walk on with bare feet!!