Summer Playground Activities

The Perfect Summertime Activities at the Playground     
By:  Jeannine Moyer and Mary Welage, teli Physical Therapists

Summertime brings with it increased opportunities to play outside. Looking for a perfect place for your child to spend some time enjoying the outdoors while exercising and improving their physical strength?  Playgrounds are a great resource for engaging in a variety of movements.  In addition to the typical activities such as running, climbing up and sliding down, and swinging, here are some ideas to target specific areas of development.

Developing Better Balance

Many playgrounds have several different surfaces to try walking on to improve balance.  These may include cement walkways, grass, mulch, wood chips, and rubberized surfaces.  Walking from one surface to another presents an additional challenge.  Take advantage of more difficult obstacles such as walking along wooden perimeter boards, or going up and down small hills.

stair climbing_pediatric physical therapyPracticing Stair Climbing
Most playgrounds are a great place to practice stairclimbing skills because the step height is lower than your staircase at home, and many have railings positioned proportionally, so your child can stand upright rather than crawl.  Stairclimbing is a good leg strengthening activity. It also requires coordination to alternate feet.

A Full Body Workout on the Slide

Another great whole body workout is climbing up the slide.  It requires grip strength, works the arms and trunk to pull up while working the legs to prevent sliding back down.  It also promotes motor planning and body awareness.

Playgrounds are a perfect place to get exercise while having fun. Your child will love the opportunity to explore and enjoy the outdoors while continuing to develop overall physical strength.