Check out some of our favorite therapy bolster ideas for kids!
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Okay all of you therapy brains out there, here’s a riddle…
What is one of the only pieces of equipment you could have in your tiny little therapy “office” (you know the one…under the stairs, in the darkest hallway of the school) that can provide vestibular and proprioceptive input, opportunities for gross motor skill building, practice with balance and core strengthening benefits?
A therapy bolster!!!
This fabulous foam cylinder is great for facilitating so many of the skills kids need to progress their motor development.
Check out some of the ways we use a therapy bolster in our practice and at our non-profit organization, The Treehouse.
Therapy Bolster Ideas for Kids
1 || Weight Bearing
Put a child over a bolster in prone and you have the perfect weight bearing position for getting proprioception through those little hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders! Play a game in this position to encourage weight shifts from one hand to the other or have her reach up to place a sticker on the wall for some excellent, targeted core strengthening. Try these tape collage pages!
2 || Obstacle Course
Use a therapy bolster as part of an obstacle course. Stand it on end and have kids kick, push or throw beanbags or balls at it to knock it down to the floor (add large googley eyes to turn it into a monster or dinosaur!). Leave it lying on the floor for the perfect superman role-play as they fly over on their bellies!
3 || Straddle
Have a kiddo straddle the bolster while sitting at a desk or table for movement input and balance practice during seated tasks.
4 || Deep Pressure
Use the therapy bolster for some whole body deep pressure for a calming effect by having kids lie on their bellies on a mat or carpet as you “steamroll” it over them. Listen for those giggles!
5 || Midline Crossing
While straddling the bolster, have a child reach to the floor on each side to pick up pieces of a puzzle. Use the right hand to pick up pieces on the left side and vice versa. This is great for working on midline crossing and core strengthening.
6 || Vestibular Input
Need to give a child some calming vestibular input (or maybe even yourself)? Have him lay down along the length of the bolster while keeping his feet on the floor on either side of the bolster. Have him use his feet to gently rock the bolster back and forth. Stay close for safety!
7 || Swing!
If you are lucky enough to have a bolster swing (aka. “the horse”), you have a whole new arsenal of fun. Whether a child sits in a straddle position or with both legs out to one side, core muscles are activated as kids experience linear and rotational movement. In linear swinging, you can have a child toss a bean bag into a container across the room for a great timing and coordination task.
8 || Bolster Bowling
Try bolster bowling! Set up a tower or pyramid of cardboard blocks and have one kiddo or a group of kids roll the therapy bolster to knock down the tower!
Which one is your favorite? Try a few and leave us a comment below to let us know how your kiddos liked them!
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