October 20, 2023
October is Physical Therapy Month!
October is PT Month! Physical therapy (PT) addresses a variety of motor skills that arerequired to explore and navigate the environment, engage with peers, and participate in everyday activities. Our physical therapists use play to facilitate the development of skills needed to jump, climb,run, and play catch. Parents and caregivers can support the development of gross motor skills by incorporating strengthening, balance, and coordination tasks within the home.
Below are some of the activities that our amazing PTs use and recommend:
Use a Mirror: By placing a large mirror in front your child, they are able to see themselves practicing and executing a task. This helps make them more confident, learn new skills, and improve their body awareness.
Jumping Games: Jumping is a skill that requires lower body strength and coordination.Encourage your child to jump with two feet together forward, over obstacles, and down from elevated surfaces. Playing “the floor is lava” is a great way to practice jumping forward while “jumping over the laser” practices jumping over an object.
Animal Walks: Every child can learn animal walks! These movements address motor planning,balance, and overall strength. Have your child walk like an animal while you guess what they are. Great animals to practice are puppy walk (traditional crawling), penguin waddles (heel walking), giraffe walk (toe walk with arms overhead), bear walk (walking on hands and feet with knees off the floor), crab walk (hands and feet with stomach facing the ceiling), snake crawl (army crawl with stomach on the floor), donkey kicks (place hands on floor and kick feet in the air), bunny hops (small jumps forward), kangaroo jumps (large broad jump forward), and flamingo stance (stand on one foot).
Yoga: Practicing yoga improves balance, strength, and core stability. Some of our favorite poses are tree pose (stand on one leg, place other foot on inner thigh, push hands together), triangle pose (step one foot back, bend at the waist, reach the front arm downwards and the other hand upwards), and cobra pose (lay on your stomach, place hands on the floor and straighten the arms while looking up).
Obstacle Courses: Using objects from around the house, a multi-step obstacle course can be created. Pillows and rolled yoga mats can be balance beams to walk across.Laundry baskets and socks are great ideas to practice catching and throwing. Crawling under tables or chairs works on overall strengthening and coordination.Have your child help create the course and see who can complete it fastest!
These helpful activities are not confined to a single month; they are valuable guidelines for health and development. By incorporating these activities into your child’s daily routines, it can continue to support their growth and well-being.
Physical therapy is more than a profession; it's a commitment to helping individuals reach their full potential. We extend our gratitude to all physical therapy professionals for their tireless dedication and care. We especially want to acknowledge our amazing team for all they do to enrich the lives of the children in their care. Here's to a future filled with movement, health, and happiness for all children.