Time to get those core muscles burning!
Did you know that the trunk is the center from which the rest of the body operates from. In fact, strong core muscles are important for developing fine and gross motor abilities. Core muscles activate during all body movements, when we sit, transition, walk, run, or jump and allow us to remain upright and prevent falling or having a loss of balance. Check out one of your Physical Therapist’s “Flying Feet” core strengthening activities for you to use with your students in the video link below.
What Do Core Muscles Do?
The “core” is made up of our abdominal muscles, which control our center of gravity and happen to be located at the center of the body. These muscles are important for maintaining balance. For example, when walking the balance beam in gymnastics and sliding down the slides at the playground…these both require stability in the abdominal “core” muscle region. Their function is often overlooked, however is important for posture and performing activities while sitting and standing. Some children have difficulty playing on the floor or sitting for story time due to underdeveloped abdominal muscles. If a child has poor motor control and postural engagement, we can start to see difficulties in learning abilities as well as poor body awareness impacting a child’s attention and concentration. Here is a fun gross motor activity to support core strengthening, visual motor coordination and attention this spring.
How to Play:
- Have the child lye down on their back
- Place a large pile of stuffed animals at the child’s feet (make it fun and spring or seasonal themed)
- Place an empty basket or tub above the child’s head
- Play their favorite music tune and start the timer!
- Have the child pick up the stuffed animal with their feet, with legs extended and feet together, place the stuffed animal into the basket over their head
- Repeat until all the stuffed animals are in the basket and stop the timer
- Challenge each other and see who can beat their time
- AND DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN!
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