A Trip to the Pumpkin Patch – strengthen your child’s coordination

A Trip to the Pumpkin Patch is a perfect beginning to the Halloween Season – A teli physical therapist explains how it can strengthen your child’s coordination and aid in your child’s early intervention physical therapy!
Building Your Child’s Coordination on a Trip to the Pumpkin Patch
By Jeannine Moyer, teli Physical Therapist
A trip to the pumpkin patch can be a great obstacle course. Your child may need to walk up and down inclines, step over debris such as vines or sticks, maneuver around pumpkins, and walk while carrying a heavy object (a pumpkin just the right size).

  • Physically, this activity requires balance, flexibility, strength, visual scanning, coordination and body awareness. It takes balance to briefly stand on one leg while stepping over an object in your path and to walk on uneven ground. Ankle flexibility is necessary to navigate this terrain as well.
  • One needs leg strength to ascend a slope and to control the descent speed, arm strength to haul away the bounty, and trunk (or “core”) strength to maintain an upright posture during these challenges.
  • Visual scanning is essential to prevent tripping over obstacles. Coordination and body awareness help you know where your foot is now and to place it where you want it to be next. For additional physical challenges, try the hay or corn maze.