Ever since she was a little girl, my oldest daughter has loved mermaids! She reads books about them, draws pictures of them and even makes up spells to try to become one of them. She even asked Santa for a mermaid tail last year, WHAT???? My husband was convinced that she was just testing us, to see if Santa was real. I was sure that she truly believed that if she had a mermaid tail, she would be able to live in that fantasy world she was imagining. Even though we did manage to find mermaid tails for sale, she did not get one. Santa said that he couldn’t deliver mermaid tails because they needed to stay wet! She was ok with that! :). Just a few weeks ago, my creative little girls took matters into their own hands and made mermaid tails of their own. The mom in me was so proud of their creativity and the therapist/blogger in me was thrilled that they had come up with such a unique way to work on balance and gross motor skills that went right along with our ocean theme!
A fun Mermaid Activity!
WHAT YOU NEED: A pair of old sweatpants or leggings, pretty duct tape (sparkly would be the best)!
WHAT TO DO: Have your child put both legs into one leg hole of the leggings. Take the opposite leg of the leggings and wrap it up behind them, tucking it into the waistband. Voila….instant mermaid tail! Have her sit down on the floor and use varying lengths of duct tape to decorate her tail with her own personal flare. If she can do it, have her tear off the duct tape for some extra fine motor and bilateral coordination practice. Once her tail is pretty, have her try to move around. Can she get up from the floor? Can she stand still with her eyes open and closed? Can she move from point A to point B by hopping? Can she lay on the floor and lift up her tail (exercising those back extensors). My girls got a HUGE kick out of all of this!!
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-If your child is too young to balance while their legs are stuck together this way, try rolling the pant leg up to their knees. Above the knee will give them an extra advantage, below the knee, some extra challenge. As their balance improves, lower the pant leg down a bit.
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Balance, coordination, gross motor skills, motor control, bilateral coordination, fine motor skills, grasp, strength, trunk stability, posture
Want to take a closer look at the skills kids are using in this activity? Check out our Clinical Closeup page, where we break down the skills listed below in terms everyone can understand.