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.

Feed the Ball

Cut a 3-inch horizontal line across the tennis ball (so when you squeeze the ball, it looks like the tennis ball is opening a mouth). Put the coins (beans or beads can be used as well with older kids) on the table, in front of the child.

First, show the child how to squeeze the ball so it opens its mouth using only one hand (preferably the dominant hand). Then have the child pick up the coins, one coin at a time, using a pincer grasp and “feed” the ball by squeezing it with the other hand and opening its mouth.

To work on finger translation, ask the child to pick up 2-3 coins at one time and “feed” the tennis ball one coin at a time.

Holiday Gifts

For this activity, all the materials should be green colored and spread across the room.

Hang the stockings at different corners of the room at a child reach level.

If using a scooter board, have the child lay prone and propel the scooter board around the room to collect the different items and place them in the stockings.

If you do not have a scooter board available, ask the child the perform different animal walks to collect the items and to receive the sensory input (i.e. bear walk, crab walk, frog jumps, etc.)

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.