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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Balance and Motor Planning Part 2—Strategies for Children with Difficulties by Trisha Roberts

Last week we discussed the importance of balance and motor planning. This week let’s look at activities that might help develop better balance and motor planning.

Things to keep in mind with children with motor planning deficits:

  • Cueing and reminders are important for anyone learning a new skill, but even more so with children who are struggling with motor planning.
  • Demonstration is helpful with children with motor planning deficits.
  • Repetition is vital.

Your Physical or Occupational Therapist will have lots of ideas and suggestions—make sure that you are given activities or exercises for home every time your child has a therapy session. 

Some things you can try even if your child is not receiving direct therapy services:

  • Simon Says
  • Go/Stop games: Tell your child to walk/run/jump, then say, “Stop”.  See how few steps it takes before they are able to come to a complete stop.
  • Alternate ways of tying shoes; practice on a Shoe Board.
  • Carrying a jiggly ball or water balloon on a dish towel held by two children (one walks forward, one walks backward)

Water balloon carry

  • Enroll your child in a gymnastics or swim class.  Let the instructor know that learning new skills is challenging for your child.
Balance Bike is a good way to learn the components of bike riding

Playing in a tunnel can help children with motor planning
  • Play catch while standing on a Balance Dome
Use a balance dome to improve standing balance

  • Set up an obstacle course in the house; practice walking, jumping, hopping, walking backward, etc. through the course
  • Practice a variety of Yoga Poses

  • Scooter board around the house or at the park.  Try it in sitting using heels to move forward or push backward.  Have child use their arms to propel themselves while on their tummy.
Scooter Board can help improve motor planning skills and strengthen core muscles

 Blog Administrator:  Trisha Roberts

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