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Video:Strength-Building Games for Kids

with Joann Ferrara

You can make exercise for you special needs child fun by playing games that help build strength. See two different activities that won't feel like work at all!See Transcript

Transcript:Strength-Building Games for Kids

Hi. I'm Joann Ferrara here today for about.com. I'm a physical therapist in Bayside, New York, and I'm going to show you some exercises and activities today to help your special needs child develop some muscle strength.

"Ok, today we're going to pretend we're animals. The first animal is a crab. So, everybody, let's see. Can you make a crab? Put your arms behind you, pick your bottom up. Alright little crabs, kick your feet."

Making Exercise Fun

Well, when you're working with a special needs child what you want to do is always remember that they're still a child. So you always want it to be fun. And then you want to focus on things like building strength in their core muscles. So, that's why the crab is good. Because they're leaning on their arms, they're leaning on their legs. Their using their core muscles for strength.

"What animal should we be next? A Dog. A dog. Ok. Uh oh. Oh. What nice puppies. Nice beautiful puppy. Are you a French Poodle?"

Animal Strengthening Games

Pretty much any animal you can make them get a benefit from. A cat or a dog, the all fours position. Lifting an arm or a leg is great. So, pretty much you can't go wrong with any animal.

"An elephant. Ok, let's see elephants. Let's see, pick up those feet really high. Good job. Ok elephants, Giana's turn. What should we be now Giana?"

A couple of seconds on each animal. Maybe three or four, you don't want to make it into a task. You want it to stay fun.

Strength Ball Exercise for Kids

"Arms over your head. Ready, here we go. Giana, ok, now you give it to one of the boys. K, Paul way up high and hand it to…" "Oh, is that heavy?" Yeah, give it to Douglas now."

The ball game I was using a two pound ball. So, you're working on strength and lifting the ball and lifting it in different positions. So, in lifting it over the head…squatting down and picking it up….jumping while you're holding it.

"Jump and hand it to Paul. Good. Paul, stand on one foot and give it to Douglas. Ok Douglas."

All of those will help gain strength in the muscle group that you're using. The legs, the arms, the core.

"And, can you stand on one foot and give it to Douglas?"

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