PARK IT: Spending time in the neighborhood park is a nice way to get some family time, work on coordination, and even teach the principles of sportsmanship.
If you have a gait trainer, the museum floors are flat and hard, and may be a great place to use the device!
Summer is a great time to get outside and do more activities! The weather is warm, the days are long, and many children have more time off from school. Time can be spent learning and doing things that may not be opportunities offered in school.
Consider heading to your local park, and playing some games! Be creative with some of the original favorites – if tag is difficult, maybe there is a nerf toy that can be used. If playing catch is difficult, maybe volleying a beach ball can be fun. It is a nice way to get some family time, work on coordination, and even teach the principles of sportsmanship. Maybe your children can take turns designing the game that the whole family plays!
Go to a museum. This is generally affordable even for groups. It involves a fair amount of walking or rolling, so you and your children can get some endurance training without that being the focus. If you have a gait trainer, the museum floors are flat and hard, and may be a great place to use the device! It would be a good opportunity for your child to push his/her own wheelchair, or drive while avoiding people. It is also obviously a learning opportunity about whatever the museum is offering. I always loved science museums, but natural history, and local history can be interesting even for young minds. A bonus is that museums tend to be air-conditioned for those hot days when being outside is not an option!
Look for the local accessible beach or lake. This idyllic setting can allow for some physical activity that does not feel like exercise. You may want to try swimming since floaties, or life jackets, can make this safe and fun for many kids. Swimming has many benefits beyond strength and endurance – it can decrease spasticity, it can help those with anxiety, and kids with decreased balance can benefit from the buoyancy. If your child has any sensory processing dysfunctions, you may want to start water activities in the bathtub, and you may want to go to water areas at off hours when there are less other children who can be overwhelming. Swimming is not for everyone. How about kayaking? There are two person kayaks, so your child