With the weather changing, it can be challenging to find ways to incorporate physical activity into the day. However, the Northwest provides lots of opportunities for fun activities that can help a child be active while working on developmental skills. Here are just a few ideas of activities unique to the fall season:
- Take a trip to one of the many pumpkin patches in the area. Many farms have activities that include climbing on hay bales, exploring hay mazes, and other fall-related games that allow your child to practice a variety of motor skills. Even lifting appropriate-sized pumpkins and carrying them around is hard work! Carrying pumpkins and climbing are also examples of heavy work that provide lots of sensory input into a child’s body.
- Carving or decorating pumpkins can work on fine motor and coordination skills. Just be sure to supervise any pumpkin carving and use kid friendly tools!
- Raking leaves provides an opportunity for fun, while working on strength, endurance and bilateral coordination. Plus, you get help with the yard work! Don’t forget to jump in or roll around the leaves for vestibular input.
- Fall in the Northwest means the start of rain. So, grab your rain gear and go puddle jumping! Kids can practice jumping into or around puddles for strength and balance. Playing in the rain and mud can be good sensory stimulation for kids.
- Fall also means the start of baking season for a lot of families. Let kids help bake and decorate goodies, to work on fine motor skills, coordination and upper body strength.
- If the weather forces you indoors, sign-up for a new class! Many organizations around Portland provide classes for dance, martial arts, gymnastics, yoga, ice skating and more. Kids love learning new skills!
Children are eager to learn, explore, and play. Involving them in seasonal activities is a great way to stimulate their growth. Activities centered around the seasons and holidays are also a great way to add variety to a child’s routine and provide them with new experiences.
If you or someone you know has concerns about a child’s ability to participate in any of the above activities, our physical, occupational and speech therapists would be happy to answer any questions. We can also provide suggestions for age appropriate activities and schedule an evaluation if one is recommended. Give us a call at (503) 496-0385 to find out more!
(Blog post courtesy of Crystal Bridges, DPT)