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Physical Development

How can I help improve my child’s core strength and postural control?

Simple and fun activities that help build up your child’s core strength can easily be incorporated into their daily routine.
Try to include these exercises at least 3 times a week:

  • Wheelbarrow walking races (where the child ‘walks’ on their hand and adults hold their feet off the ground) to develop upper body strength – measure how far you can go!
  • Create an obstacle course by including unstable surfaces, eg. Pillows – this type of activity requires strength and will also help to increase your child’s endurance. Time how fast they can go!
  • Play animal walks by pretending to be a variety of animals such as crabs, frogs, bears, worms or kangaroos! All of these use the child’s body weight as resistance.
  • Set up a mini ‘core strength circuit’, and have your child complete:
    – Superman or Aeroplanes where your child stretches out while laying on their tummy.
    Try to lift arms and legs off the floor with hands facing forward and palms down.
  • Plank positions:
    – Four point kneel, where your child assumes a crawling position on hands and knees. Have them extend opposite arm and leg for 5 sec each – try to increase the time held each set!
    – Elbow plank, where your child uses their elbows/forearms and toes for support.
    Make sure their back is straight, and their bottom doesn’t slouch down or extend upward.
    Time how long they can hold this for, and aim for 30 seconds.
  • Encourage your child to try new equipment at the playground, eg. swings, climbing, monkey bars, slides and poles are all activities that assist in increasing core strength.
  • Encourage your child so sit with correct posture during seated activities
    (see previous blog post ‘The importance of good sitting posture for handwriting).

If you are looking for more physical activity for your child, I would recommend:

for some simple PE challenges, focussed on personal bests. They include things like "how many times can you pass a ball around your tummy without dropping it in 60 seconds?" Some require equipment e.g. a beanbag and a hoop, if you don't have these at home, you could always improvise with a balled up sock and a skipping rope/belt laid out in a circle/ draw a circle in chalk.