This fun motor planning game is the perfect way to welcome spring!
The other day, I was working with a child that really needs help with motor planning and moving his body from one point to another in challenging positions. He appears very typical when he simply walks from point A to point B but if I ask him to do a jumping jack or crab walk or even run through a few cones it’s a motor planning nightmare!
As a pediatric physical therapist, I have to be good at thinking on the fly. If a child refuses to work on a skill or has difficulty with the first super creative game that you throw at them, you can always come up with another (at least you hope!).
Luckily this day, I was quick on my feet with a great motor planning game. I had a hula hoop and some chalk and we set off to the playground to try this sweet little activity that proved to be challenging, yet so much fun that he wasn’t even paying attention to the awesome benefits that his body was getting! We called it “Ring Around The Posies”!
What You’ll Need:
-A hula hoop
What to do:
Have the child trace the circle of the inside of the hula hoop with the chalk. This is a motor planning challenge right off the bat! We found it was easiest to stand on the hula hoop while drawing.
After you have the circle traced, get creative and make a few petals to create a flower (another great visual and fine motor challenge – and it’s darn pretty!).
Inside one of the petals, draw a star to indicate a starting point. Next, have your child trace a hand and a foot inside the circle center of the flower.
Have the child trace and draw multiple flowers this way, each one with a different combination of hands and feet inside the circle (one flower may have both feet, one may have a left foot and a right hand, etc).
Finally, explain to the child that he must place the indicated body parts inside the flower and the other hands/feet on the starting point on the flower petal (e.g. if you have both feet inside the flower, you will need to place both hands on the starting point).
The goal? To work your body all the way around the flower and back to the starting point without changing the location (inside or outside of the flower) of your hands and feet!
Check out the video!
How to change it up:
-Too challenging? Try making a mark inside the flower for just one hand or one foot.
-Try the same activity using just the hula hoop instead of including the chalk! The activity is still fun — just not as beautiful! :)
-Need more of a challenge? See if your child can do this: Put both feet in the flower while in the crab position with both hands on the starting point. They must walk their hands around the circle without losing the position!