The heat is on here in the midwest. It’s the perfect time to enjoy getting outside with your family, and an easy outside activity is playing with sidewalk chalk. It can be fun for your littles to color and draw, but today I wanted to focus on using chalk to create fun obstacle courses to encourage continued development through grade school strength skills. We are all familiar with hopscotch, but that is just the beginning.
What we recommend
You can buy sidewalk chalk at the dollar store, target, or even here on amazon.
Any chalk will do, but I think it is fun to change the color of your chalk, when you change obstacles, so you may want to have a couple different colors of chalk handy.
This activity can be tailored to your child’s skill set and emerging skills. If your little one is working on balance, you can have them walk a “balance beam” on the ground both forwards and backwards. If they are working on jumping, you can do long jumps to separate “lily pads”. If they are working on coordination or motor planning, I find it is best to do a combination of skills that change the demands on the body quickly.
Here’s an example
-Zig-zag run: This will help with core strength and motor planning due to the rapid change in directions
– Single foot lily pads: This will work on core strength and leg strength as the hop side to side. If your little is younger and can’t do single foot hops, start by practicing with two feet together.
-Two footed flip hops: Power and core strength are built here.
-Spirals- this will work on balance, proprioception, and core stability
-Tip toe on the balance beam-this works on balance, core strength, and calf strength
How can we help
If you have any concerns with your child’s ability to keep up with their peers on the playground, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are happy to do a free screening and offer fun, play-based physical therapy in your home. To learn more, click here!