Physical therapy activities to help encourage jumping skills, motor planning, body awareness, balance and strength are lots of fun with the use of hoola hoops.
Start by placing the hoola hoops (tape, Velcro, jump ropes, or sidewalk chalk can also be used) on the floor for a visual cue for your child, and enjoy the following activities:
- Hop from one hoop to another.
- Jump forward into the hoop, then jump backwards out of it.
- Jump sideways into and out of the hoops.
- Jump on one foot in and out of each hoop.
- Bounce pass a ball to a friend using each hoop as a bounce target.
- Toss a bean bag into the requested hoop.
- Do animal walks into and out of one hoop to the next—such as bear crawl, crab walk, duck, frog, etc.
- Take giant steps from one hoop to another.
- Make a hopscotch pattern with multiple hoops.
These activities can be performed at several different levels of skill depending on the age of your child and their type of disability. To make the tasks more challenging, you can ask your child to perform two– or three-step directions to also build sequencing and memory skills. In addition, these activities can be played in combination with other games such as Captain, May I? and Simon Says.
Jill French-Graebner, PT
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