Looking for fun ways to get active with your little ones? Try some playground games for kids!
Sometimes as therapists, we get so caught up in planning perfect activities for kids that will stimulate the imagination, engage the child for and target as many aspects of motor development as possible. But have you ever just stood back and watched all of the dynamic movement activities children create for themselves?
My kiddos LOVE to go to the playground. They are 9, 6, and 3 and are all at very different stages of motor development. But to watch them maneuver a playground….WOW! They have to motor plan, demonstrate body awareness and spatial awareness, be coordinated, and stay balanced.
They have to have strength in their arms, legs, and core. Proprioception is huge – are their legs underneath them so that they can land safely if they drop from the monkey bars? Here are some other examples…
-Climbing a ladder to a slide – bilateral coordination, motor planning, strength
-Sliding down that slide – proprioception, body awareness, core strength to remain upright
-Monkey bars – strength in hands and arms to hang, bilateral coordination and motor planning to maneuver across, body awarness/proprioception to land
–Swings – core strength to sit upright on that swing, coordination of upper and lower body to initiate and maintain swinging, body awareness to sit appropriately and swing safely, hand strength to grip the chain
-Crawling through tunnels – body awareness to move high and low, strength and motor planning to manipulate the body through the tunnel, coordination to progress through the tunnel (crawling or creeping or moving in a low crouch position)
Next time you’re at the playground, think of how you can increase the intensity and challenge each of these developmental skills…
-Can two kids pass each other on the monkey bars?
-Can they walk across the shaky bridge with a friend?
-Can they make a “train” to go down the slide?
-Can they cooperatively cross the balance beam?
-Check out these fun activities for the swing set!
-Try these fun games on a swing!
The list goes on and on! What creative ways do your kids use to show off their motor skills while you sit idly by at the playground? :) We’d love to hear from you!
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: bilateral coordination, motor control, proprioception, coordination, strength, trunk stability
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