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.

Balance on the Web

Using the masking tape, create a large spider web shape on the floor or carpet. Place the container in the center of the web.

Place different objects to be picked up inside the spider web. Ping-pong balls and bean bags work well for this purpose.

Ask the child to walk and stay on the web lines while picking up all the objects along the way and putting the objects in the container. As the child picks up the object, encourage him to squat down, reach for the object while staying on the line, pick up the object, and return to a standing position.

For grading, ask the child to throw the objects into the container and use a point system where the child gets a point for scoring and loses a point if he falls off the spider web line.

You can also work on pincer grasp by using small objects, such as plastic bugs, and have the child use tongs or tweezers to pick up the items.

Squirt Till it Drops

Fill up the bucket/container with water to the midline and drop in the Ping-Pong ball (you can use more than one ball, or different size plastic balls). Fill up the squirt bottle with water and let the child squeeze and squirt the water out into the bucket/container until the Ping-Pong ball falls out of the bucket/container.

This activity can be done with more than one child. The first child that has his/her Ping-Pong ball fall out of the bucket/container wins!

To work on developing visual motor skills, fill up the squirt bottle with shaving cream or foam and let the child squeeze the bottle to draw shapes and letters on a concrete surface or an easel.

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.