Jump and Kick

Jump and Kick for Balance

Place steppingstones along a path.

Place cardboard blocks to the left and to the right side of each steppingstone.

Ask the child to stand on the first steppingstone and use the right leg to kick the cardboard block on the right side and the left leg to kick the cardboard block on the left side.

Next, instruct the child to jump to the next steppingstone and repeat the previous step.

The child will continue jumping to the ext steppingstones ad knocking down the cardboard block until the end of the path.

Don’t have steppingstones? Use pillows instead (this also increases the challenge for your child’s balance).

Don’t have cardboard blocks? Use water bottles instead (empty for an easier challenge, and filled with water or rice/beans/sand for more challenge and increase the proprioceptive input) or use empty shoe boxes, paper rolls, paper cups, or plastic containers.

Grading option:

  • The challenge can be graded by placing the blocks further away (see the 2nd video below)
  • Ask the child to frog jump from one steppingstone to the other, then stand back up, and kick the block.

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.

Balance the Beans

Place a container full of beans on one end of the room or the area you work in and an empty container on the other end.

Use the tape to mark a straight line between the two containers. Have the child hold the spoon in one hand (preferably the child’s preferred hand) and ask the child to scoop a spoonful of beans.

Instruct the child to walk on the line that you’ve marked and transferred the beans on his spoon from one side to the other side, placing the beans in the empty container.

Repeat the activity until the empty container is filled with beans.

To provide proprioceptive input, ask the child to use animal walks (i.e. bear walk, crab walk, frog jumps, etc.) to get back to the starting point side (where the container filled with beans is).

You can also mark a curved path or a crooked path with the tape or you can use a balance beam to make the activity more challenging.

For strengthening purpose, you can put a weighted wrist bend on the child’s hand (the one used to hold the spoon).

It’s also fun to do this activity in a group session. Have a spoon rally to see who can fill up the empty container first.

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.