Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Build Those Muscles!

Did you know that strong and stable core muscles (shoulders and trunk) improve overall fine motor development?  When the core muscles are stable, there is a good solid base of support so that the arms and legs can move freely. A child with good postural control is able to sit upright and has the endurance needed to work at a desk while using his hands for cutting, writing, and coloring. 
        We all know some kids who are constantly laying their head on the desk, slumping over the table, or using their "helper hand" to hold their head up all day long.  These kiddos likely have trunk and/or shoulder weakness and the weak muscles make it difficult to stay upright all day without support.  This can make for a long, tiring day at school!  So how can you help your child improve core strength and stability? Here are a few ideas:
  • Animal walking such as bear walking and crab walking
  • Tug of war games
  • Tummy time! Play games or puzzles while laying on the tummy. Read books, color, and write in the tummy time position on the floor or a mat.  Start tummy time in infancy....OT's love this!
  • Playground equipment like monkey bars and the trapeze help to build arm strength and shoulder stability
  • Scooter board games while laying on the tummy
  • Toss and catch games while in kneeling helps to build trunk stability
  • Working on a vertical surface such as a hanging white board will build shoulder stability while using a slant board or large binder (turned sideways) for writing/coloring helps to improve wrist stability.
Jen Dermody, OTR/L

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the OT blog world. Let me know if you would like to be added to the OT blog network on the therapy fun zone community section. I like your posts, and look forward to seeing more.