National PT Month is officially coming to a close, read on for more details on physical therapy and take home tips from our wonderful PT team!
What is physical therapy?
Physical therapists are movement specialists, trained to evaluate and treat children from infants to teenagers and work with their families in the areas of:
- Gross motor development (e.g., rolling, jumping, hopping, pedaling a tricycle or bicycle, skipping)
- Core strength and control for better posture at home and in school
- Functional mobility (e.g., crawling, walking, running)
- Body and safety awareness
- Balance and coordination
- Play skills
- Walking patterns
- Assisting with orthotics for foot and ankle joint alignment
- Improve fitness and overall endurance
- Increase participation in daily routines in the home,
community, and school
Activities to try with your child to improve gross motor skills!
- Jumping in from the side of the pool
- Climbing in and out of the pool from the edge
- Kicking in different positions- back, stomach, sitting on the edge of the pool
- Wall crawls- with arms and legs holding on to the edge of the pool and moving sideways
- Diving- sitting on edge of pool to dive in
- Games: marco polo, tag, volleyball, catch
- Balance skills- try walking around the edge of the playground without stepping off!
- Motor planning and coordination- pumping legs while swinging, obstacle courses, hopscotch, simon says, jumping jacks
- Strength- climbing up slide (with supervision!), monkey bars
*Gross motor skills – skipping/galloping during tag, practice ball sports
- Animal walks during transition times (crab, bear, frog, etc)
- Obstacle courses using couch cushions and pillows
- Yoga poses- can search YouTube for kids yoga videos to target balance, core strength, flexibility, and relaxation
- Outdoor- relay races, tag, hopscotch
- Correct bike fit – make sure your child can stand over the bike with both feet flat on the ground so they can always control the bike.
- Helmet size – helmet should not wiggle on child’s head and should sit approximately 1 inch above eyebrows.
- Balance – sitting on the bike, practice having your child lift their feet off the ground and balance as long as he/she can without letting their feet touch the ground.
- Starting – start with one pedal up (one dominant side) and forcefully push down to begin moving forward.
- Stopping – gently apply the brakes and have your child place their feet on the ground.