These simple movement activities using stairs would be perfect for a physical therapy session, occupational therapy session, or just for some fun movement at home!
Do you have stairs in your home? Whether it’s a big staircase from the first floor to the second floor or just a few small steps from the garage or patio, stairs can be a great prop for fun activities for kids using stairs for kids that target many different developmental skills.
Does mom or dad need a workout too? Try some of these fun activities right alongside your child!
Step-ups are great for cardio and strengthening and you only need one step! Have the child start with her right foot leading. Step up with the right foot, up with the left, then down with the right and down with the left. Repeat this 10 times and then switch legs. Try having your child spell out the letters of her name instead of counting!
Have a kiddo who needs to gain some upper body or core strength or just improve upper body proprioception for handwriting? This is the one for you! Have your child put both hands on the bottom step and stretch his legs out behind him. Have him bend his elbows to complete a push-up and complete 5 repetitions. If push-ups are too hard, just hold that elevated plank position (keeping the arms straight).
These are great for strengthening the lower leg. Have your child stand with the balls of the feet on the edge of a step. Show him how to rise up to tiptoes and then lower back down. Try to repeat 10 times.
This exercise is great for strengthening the back of the arms. Have the child sit on the floor at the bottom step. Have her place the heels of her hands up on that first step and then extend her arms to raise her bottom off of the floor and then bend at the elbows again to bring her bottom toward the floor. To make it easier, keep the knees bent. To make it more difficult, keep the legs straight. Try for 10!
Work on good old fashioned stair climbing by placing the letters of your child’s name randomly on the stairs. Have him climb to find the first letter, working on alternating feet on each step. Have him bring that first letter down to you and continue climbing up and down until he has retrieved all of the letters of his name!
Working on jumping from the stairs is perfect because you can actually measure the height at which your child is comfortable jumping. A typical stair rise is 8”. Can they jump from the first step to the floor? How about the second?
Look how LITTLE BINS FOR LITTLE HANDS worked in some throwing and target practice using the stairs!
For Virtual Sessions:
These activities are super simple to facilitate during virtual sessions. Simply position yourself and the child near a set of stairs and demonstrate/describe the different movements. These would be great for a PT session or as a warmup before a fine motor/craft activity!