A recent walk through a playground at the park reminded me of how kids often seek upside down play and encouraged me to include more of these activities in my OT groups. Why do kids need upside down play?? As kids grow, they tend to naturally put their bodies in positions to get the sensory input they need to regulate and organize their bodies. Upside down positions are one of the ways they do this. When you see your little one hanging upside down, don’t redirect her! Instead supervise and encourage her as she gives her vestibular, proprioceptive, visual and tactile systems the input she needs to get in sync!
Following are some activity suggestions that incorporate upside down input:
- Yoga – Downward Dog Pose, Use this pose to have child be a bridge for someone to crawl under
- Wheelbarrow walking
- Go down the slide head first
- Swing on tummy
- Hang by knees from a playground bar
- Passing a ball through legs while looking through legs
- Bear walks (hands and feet on ground)
- Ostrich walks (hold ankle while walking)
- Roll child over large therapy ball while holding their ankles; this can be done on tummies or backs, depending on what they like
HAPPY UPSIDE DOWN PLAYING!!!!
- Lynn Vosbeek, OT