Shoulder Strength Leopard Crawl

Leopard-crawl under table

The leopard crawl is a military type-specific crawl that can increase shoulder strength by using the shoulder muscles to move forward.

Place an empty bucket at one side of the room and give the child a few small size balls (tennis balls, ping pong balls, cotton balls, etc.).

Ask the child to hold one ball in each hand while on his tummy and do a leopard crawl towards the empty bucket. The route to the bucket can go under a table, inside a tunnel, under chairs, or other obstacles for grading.

When the child reaches the bucket, ask the child to put the balls in it and crawl back to the start.

For proper crawl ensure the child is advancing an arm/elbow with the diagonal knee. When an elbow is placed forward, the diagonal knee is also placed forward, and then alternated with the other elbow and knee.

A Day at the Beach Obstacle Course

Obstacle Course

Place towels, sunscreen, hat, ball, bucket, and pail & shovel at one end of the room, or play area.

Place the beach bag/basket on the other end.

Using the tape, mark a trail from the items to the beach bag.

Place the chair, step stool, and pillows (covered with the blanket) along the trail you marked.

Ask the child to transfer one item at a time and place it in the beach bag, following the trail, by crawling under the chair, walking up and down the step-stool (you can also put more than one and have the child go up and down several times), and walking on the blanket-covered pillows.


Toss it Catch it

Spread the blanket/towel (it is recommended to use a large towel for this activity) on the ground and ask the child to place the bean bag or a stuffed animal at the center of the blanket.

Have the child stand on one side of the blanket while you stand on the other side of the blanket. Hold on to two corners of the blanket and ask the child to follow you and hold on to the other two corners.

Then, when a cue is given (first given by you and then might be given by the child), both you and the child should lift the blanket and toss the object up in the air.

As the object falls down, try to catch it using the blanket. You can move around to catch the object if needed.

For this activity, you can use more than one bean bag or one stuffed animal. You can also use a tennis ball or a small fabric ball.

Proprioceptive Wall Walking

Walking on walls

This quick and simple activity provides proprioceptive input through the feet, ankles, and knees.

Clear space on the wall and the floor in front of the wall.

Ask the child to remove his shoes and lie down on his back.

Position the child with his feet flat against the wall while holding the child’s knees bent in a 90-degree position.

Ask the child to walk his feet up and down the wall.

You can also ask the child to push the wall with his feet or place a foam ball under the child’s feet and push the ball against the wall or into the wall.

Remind the child to take breaks between pushing.

Grading Option

Ask the child to roll a ball with both feet while walking up and down the wall.

Midline Passing

This ball passing game can be done in groups or during a 1×1 session.

Sit back to back with the child. Make sure the child is sitting cross-legged or on their knees. While seated, pass a ball or any other object around to each other.

Make sure to switch directions after a few times.

Make sure the child is crossing the midline while passing the ball without rotating the trunk.

Crab Walk Soccer

Set up goals approximately ten feet apart using the boxes, the masking tape, or the chalk.

Instruct the child to assume a crab-walk position.

Assume a similar position.

Each one of you needs to try to get the ball to the goal by bumping it with your body or kicking it with your foot.

Hands may not be used.

Ball Bopp

Have the child lie on the floor in prone.

Give the child a ball.

Begin by rolling the big therapy ball across the floor in front of the child.

The object of the game is for the child to roll her ball and hit the moving therapy ball.

As the child becomes successful, decrease the size of the both balls.

For grading: varying the size of either the therapist or student rolled ball, varying the speed of the the therapist rolled ball or changing the distance between the child and the ball. Position can be varied as well.

Airplane Catch

Have the child lie prone 5 feet away from you (distance varies depending on the child’s abilities and age).

Ask the child to extend his neck, shoulders, and arms about 5-10 inches above the ground. In addition, ask the child to place his feet together and raise his legs (below the knees) in a similar fashion.

The therapist/parent should lie in front of the child in a similar position. With your elbows flexed, push the ball toward the child and ask him to catch it and throw it back towards you.

This activity can be done as a group activity with more than 2 kids.