The longer I am a physical therapist, the more I find these overarching themes in PT treatment. One thing that I find again and again is that balance is key in attaining all gross motor milestones. You need better balance to learn to walk, run, climb, ride a bike…the list goes on.
Balance is typically a hard thing for kids to do and they tend to get frustrated when practicing this challenging skill. Sitting/standing on a balance board can work your core strength, proprioception (the feeling of where your body is in space), vestibular system, and overall coordination. One key to making it fun is to make the balance practice secondary, and the game the primary focus. I do this by playing their favorite game, while incorporating the wobble board. For working on seated balance, you can sit on the balance board on the floor and play a board game, read a book, or complete a puzzle. You can work your standing balance by bowling while standing on your balance board, standing on the balance board while your child helps you in the kitchen, or even while you play catch with your child. The most important part is to find an activity that they like and then simply incorporate the balance portion. This helps with the time they will commit to practicing balance which is key to long term carry over of this skill.
What we recommend:
You can find this wobble board on amazon
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for $23, and it can be used in several different ways. It also can grow with your child as they progress through their gross motor milestones and beyond. Balance is important no matter what your child’s mobility level, so this can be a helpful tool for very involved children, as well as for children looking to return to their favorite competitive sport.
How can we help:
If you have any concerns about your child’s progress towards their next gross motor milestone, 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!