10 Fun Physiotherapy Games
As a parent of a child with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), you understand the importance of providing your child with the proper therapy to help them thrive. Physiotherapy is a crucial component of their development, helping to improve motor skills, coordination, and overall physical health. But let’s be honest, it can sometimes be challenging to keep your child engaged during these sessions. That’s why we’ve gathered 10 fun physiotherapy games that your child will love! From the Balloon Bump to Beach Ball Volleyball, these games are not only entertaining but will also help your child work on essential skills like coordination and balance. So let’s dive in and explore how to make physiotherapy engaging for your child.
A fun game that can help improve motor skills is Balloon Bump. This game is a great way to get Children moving and exercising their hand-eye coordination. To play, simply blow up a balloon and challenge the children to keep it in the air by bouncing it with their hands. This game not only helps improve hand-eye coordination, but it also encourages physical activity and can be a lot of fun.
One variation of Balloon Bump is to play with your child, trying to keep the balloon in the air for as long as possible without letting it touch the ground. Another variation is to have the children try to keep the balloon in the air while moving around the room. This can be a great way to get children up and moving, while also working on their coordination and balance.
Catch and Stretch
Another fun and interactive game is Catch and Stretch. This game not only helps improve motor skills and flexibility but also focuses on social skills like turn-taking and communication. To begin, two players require a soft ball or beanbag. The first player throws the ball or beanbag to their partner, who catches it and then performs a stretch before throwing it back. The stretch can vary depending on the child’s needs, such as reaching up to touch the sky, touching their toes or stretching their arms out to the side.
This game is not only fun but also a great way to bond with your child. This game can be followed up with an obstacle course for added excitement and increased physical activity.
In addition to Catch and Stretch, incorporating an obstacle course into physiotherapy sessions can be highly beneficial. Obstacle courses are a fun and interactive way to improve a child’s motor skills, balance, and coordination. It also provides an opportunity for children to work on problem-solving skills and self-confidence.
An obstacle course can be created using simple materials such as cones, hoops, and crawling tunnels. The course can be set up indoors or outdoors depending on the available space. Encourage your child to complete the course in various ways, such as hopping on one foot, crawling on their belly, or walking backwards. This variability helps to challenge and develop different muscle groups.
After completing an obstacle course, children can move on to the next fun and effective game: Animal Walk. This game not only serves as a great warm-up exercise, but it also helps to improve balance, coordination, and body awareness.
To play Animal Walk, children can imitate the movements of different animals such as a bear walk, crab walk, or frog hop. Encourage children to move slowly and deliberately to challenge their balance and core strength. This game can also be played in pairs, with one child leading and the other mimicking their movements.
Mirror Mirror is an imaginative game that focuses on body awareness and motor skills. In this game, you and your child stand/sit facing each other and take turns mimicking each other’s movements. The game can progress in difficulty by challenging the children to mirror more complex movements such as balancing on one foot or performing a specific dance move.
Rolling Race involves the use of a large exercise ball, which the children can sit on and roll across the room. The objective of the game is to reach the finish line before the other player does. To make it more challenging, you can create obstacles in the room, such as cones or tunnels, which the children will have to navigate through.
This game is not only a great way to keep the children active and entertained, but it also helps improve their gross motor skills, spatial awareness, and ability to follow directions. It encourages them to use their muscles and sense of balance to move around, which can contribute to their physical development and overall well-being.
Wiggle Worm is a game that can be played with children of all abilities. It focuses on improving their fine motor skills, which are essential for everyday activities such as writing, buttoning clothes and using utensils. This game requires the children to sit on the floor with their legs straight out in front of them. They have to use their core muscles to balance and lift their legs off the ground, while keeping their hands planted firmly on the floor.
The aim of the game is to wiggle and shake their bodies, while maintaining their balance and control. Encourage the children to wiggle their hands, fingers, toes, and other body parts to keep the game fun and engaging. You can also add a competitive element by timing how long each child can hold the position or see who can wiggle the most without losing their balance.
To play Sock Slide, children need to wear a pair of socks and stand on a smooth surface like a polished floor. They then need to slide their feet apart and bring them back together, all while maintaining their balance. The aim of the game is to slide as far as they can without losing their balance.
Musical Mats can be a fantastic way to get children moving and having fun while also working on their physical abilities. Simply put a set of mats on the floor, and then place a music player at one end. The children’s task is to move around the mats in time with the music, but they can only stay on each mat for a short period. When the music stops, the children must sit on a mat, and the last child remaining is out. This game can be modified in many ways, such as adding challenges like hopping from mat to mat or crawling under them.
Beach Ball Volleyball
Another game that can be played indoors or out is Beach Ball Volleyball. This fun game involves two teams (or two people), a net, and a beach ball. The aim is to keep the ball in the air, and the team/person that lets it touch the ground loses a point. This game is excellent for developing hand-eye coordination, balance, and teamwork skills, as the players must work together to keep the ball from falling on their side of the net.
Beach Ball Volleyball is also highly adaptable, making it ideal for different age groups, skill levels, and abilities. If the standard version is too challenging, you can adjust the height of the net or play without one altogether. You can also modify the rules to include more touches per person, allow players to hit the ball with any part of their body, or play with multiple balls at once.
Incorporating physiotherapy into a child’s routine can sometimes be challenging but with the help of these fun games, it doesn’t have to be! The Balloon Bump, Catch and Stretch, Obstacle Course, and many others can help improve your child’s motor skills, coordination, and overall physical health. By keeping your child engaged and entertained, they’ll be able to work on important skills like balance and coordination without even realizing it. Remember to always consult with your child’s physiotherapist to ensure that these games are appropriate for their specific needs.