Weight bearing through shoulders can strengthen arm and shoulder muscles to prepare for better hand skills and hand writing, as well as improving the strength and control of muscles that straighten the spine, neck and sometimes hips. If our shoulder and arm muscles are strong, we can better control the small muscles in our hands and fingers.
Pushing heavy things:
¨ Help to push the full laundry basket, a chair or a table to where it is needed.
¨ Roll a barrel or log or big ball.
¨ Push a stroller or toy shopping cart laden with heavy things.
¨ Help push a wheelbarrow around the garden.
¨ All of these are more difficult if you have to steer around obstacles or over bumps.
¨ Pushing something uphill is very challenging.
¨ Crawl through a tunnel, a hoop or a shape.
¨ Crawl over the rungs of a ladder or even bigger obstacles (beanbags, cushions, blankets)
On hands and knees:
¨ Try to lift an arm and a leg from opposite sides.
¨ Try to lift an arm and a leg from the same side.
¨ Do puzzles and reading in this position.
Rolling on Roll or Ball:
¨ Have your child play over a roll.
¨ If the roll is under their hips this is easier.
¨ If they “walk” forward with their hands so the roll is under their knees it becomes harder.
¨ If they lift one hand up to play it becomes even more difficult.
¨ You can do this over a ball which is harder because it moves in all directions.
¨ Help your child to walk on their hands.
¨ To begin with, support at the hips.
¨ As they become stronger move your hands to their knees, then the ankles.
¨ Make sure their stomach doesn’t sag.
At the park:
¨ Encourage “bearwalking” up the slide.
¨ Encourage climbing up ladders.
¨ Encourage hanging from monkey bars.
Make a tunnel:
¨ Sit on the floor, leaning back on hands.
¨ Lift hips so you can roll a ball or drive a car under the “tunnel”.