By Vita DeQuatro, DPT
We are all struggling right now as we try to get used to this new normal of either working from home, home schooling, caring for young children or all of the above. As a mom of two toddlers, I completely understand the challenge of keeping everyone healthy, happy and entertained. As a Pediatric Physical Therapist, I am trying to use both my knowledge and experience to develop some fun activities to do with my toddlers. I wanted to take some time to share them with other parents who are finding it difficult to keep their children active and strong during this time.
Thankfully, with the calendar turning to Spring and warmer weather approaching, I have been taking my boys outside as often as I can. The air is refreshing and it allows them to get all the “wiggles” out, after being stuck inside doing school work, playing with their toys etc. There are a number of things you can work on with your child while outside, including balance, coordination and strength.
Here are some activities that I have done with my son, Jaxson, while enjoying the nice weather….
Frog jumps from one side of the street to the other. Next, we pretend that he has to jump over the cracks in the pavement to avoid stepping in the hot lava!
Balance Beam Walk
First, we walk with one foot in front of the other with arms extended. Then, we pretend that the pavement is water (or hot lava). We have to try to make it to the end of the road without falling in.
This will focus on building core strength. One example is pushing his brother Cameron in his car up a hill – this is a good one. My oldest loves to try and push his brother as fast as he can and my youngest loves the wind in his face!
There are also ways to keep your child active while inside as well. At the end of the day, Jaxson loves to have wheelbarrow races down the hallway to his bedroom at night. This activity will help increase core and upper extremity strength, as well as being fun!
Hope everyone is hanging in there, staying healthy and safe!