Physical therapy is normally thought to help recover from injury or strengthen muscles that are underdeveloped. While this thought is not wrong, there are many more uses for physical therapy. At Rebuilding Champions, we have started our Pediatric Sports Therapy program to help kids develop their muscles, develop body awareness and increase their control of their bodies. Many children have difficulties with body awareness and development that will leave them appearing clumsy, uncoordinated, or have delays in motor skill development. Our unique physical therapy program uses five great tips to help their engagement and growth to make physical therapy more fun.
Proprioceptive input, or heavy work activities, gives our muscles and joints information about how our arms, legs, head, and trunk move. Weight bearing activities are technically proprioceptive input. Activities like wheelbarrow walking, jumping, stomping your feet, push-ups, pushing and pulling, carrying heavy objects, etc. are great examples of how to use this type of input to help child development. We make these workouts fun with obstacle course-like setups to help children work this type of input.
Playing Games to Help Identify Body Parts
Games like Simon Says helps children gain both spatial and body part awareness. We start with simple actions like touch your toes and then increase the difficulty to make them touch their right knee and left elbow. This complex movement helps them identify muscle group movement and helps work on coordination while having fun.
This involves group sessions where children are matched up with a partner. When one person moves the other copies their movement exactly. Children can try to mimic poses of different movements with body position cards to help them with different poses. This allows children to see their movements on another child to help identify their muscles to movements.
Spatial Awareness Games
Obstacle courses are a great way to increase a child’s spatial awareness. Throughout the course, they will be required to duck under, jump over, and maneuver through various obstacles to reach the end. Our kids love this drill and try to compete against one another.
Balance is another great way to increase muscle control and development. We like to play games using balancing balls to get the kids to work on balance while maintaining peak fun. It’s