Starfish Therapies

January 23, 2012

Rainy Day PT

With the rainy season beginning to hit us I was inspired to pull out my kid persona and go play in the rain (or the puddles)!  You’d be amazed at how motivated kids get to go in a puddle.  As long as the parents are okay with us going outside and we have the proper gear puddles are fun.

For some of my kids who are working on bike riding I use a little reverse psychology and tell them ‘Whatever you do, don’t get my bike wet’.  They immediately head toward the puddle.  This is really fun for a kiddo who uses an adapted tricycle and we are working on continuous motion such as pedaling.  It amazing how many times he can pedal in a row without stopping when he’s heading toward the puddle.  We actually finish our bike ride in almost 1/2 the time because there’s so much motivation and tons of puddles.

You can also work on jumping skills!

  • jumping forward into the puddles
  • jumping over the puddles
  • jump up and down multiple times in a row in the puddle
  • hop on one foot through the puddle
  • do spinning jumps in the puddle (see who can make it all the way back facing forward in just one jump)
  • leap from puddle to puddle to practice push off and spring

Stomping skills are great too!

  • stomp in the puddle to see who makes the biggest splash (to work on putting your foot down with force)
  • works on single leg stance if you have them pause for a count of (however long you want) before they get to try to splash you with their stomp
  • works on foot clearance and hip flexion by exaggerating the lift up in order to get a bigger splash (you can experiment with if splashes are bigger if the foot starts higher or lower in the air)

Balance skills with puddles are a hit too!

  • get out some stepping stones or stepping stools and create a path for the kiddo to walk over so they don’t fall into the puddle
  • you can put a string across the puddle and pretend it is a tightrope so they don’t fall into the lake below
  • or bring out a 2×4 and make a bridge across the lake

Some other ideas are:

  • racing to see who can get to the puddle first (using running, skipping, galloping, etc)
  • tip toe through the puddle trying not to splash
  • try to step over the puddle without stepping in it to work on step length

What are your ideas for rainy day PT and puddle fun?

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2 Comments »

  1. Great post. I always love suggestions that require really just your time and energy (no equipment)! A few to add to your great list – make small boats out of leaves or floating corks, squat down and see if it will float. We have this squeegee tool with a long handle – the kids love to push the puddles around. If you didn’t have a squeegee you could use a broom. Seems strange but the kids love to make the shallow puddles disappear. Nice to do after a rain shower and the sun is out. They push the puddles around and it all dries up rather quickly. fun to watch.

    Comment by Your Therapy Source — January 23, 2012 @ 5:19 pm | Reply

    • Again, I always love your additional suggestions!!! I agree about the broom and squeegee – I believe I was one of those kids fascinated by it!

      Comment by Starfish Therapies — January 23, 2012 @ 5:23 pm | Reply


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