Having a child with a disability lends to its own challenges, and trying to find time to get your child in the stander can be one of those challenges in the busy summer months. Here’s hoping that some of these ideas will make it fun to incorporate, keeping those bones strong and muscles stretched out this summer.
- Create a ball maze: gather paper towel and toilet paper tubes from friends and neighbors; involve siblings in cutting open one side of the tube and then taping together an elaborate ball maze that starts at the top of the stander and builds down to the floor; your child and others can take turns rolling the balls down the tube, you may need to have your maze take twists and turns to allow tables or chairs to support the weight as it is built. Ping Pong balls or golf balls can both work well!
- Sensory play: make different sensory play buckets to pull out and share. Sand buckets with toys/shells hidden inside (use a shovel or hand to dig and find the toys), water buckets with floating toys, shaving cream on the stander tray with washable toys or just use your hands for a messier experience! Play dough with toys hidden inside, push and pull to find the toys, building strength and sensory experiences. The ideas can be endless what you combine together!
- Hold a dance party: your child can be the DJ and play music while standing upright so others can dance, stop and start the music for “freeze” dance. If they enjoy taking pictures they can take photos or videos of the dance to share with others. If fine motor skills are challenging, record some music on a switch. (an iPad might be another option to allow more independence and participation).
- Join the library reading program: commit to reading 15 minutes while standing up in the stander, kids will be excited to work toward their reading goal, and the standing time will fly by!
- Make a summer scrapbook: Start taking photos of summer activities so you can include them in your scrapbook! Take a trip to the craft store to pick up supplies and designate one day a week to work on the scrapbook. An “A to Z” scrapbook is a great theme, and will probably lead to fun summer outings, such as a trip to the “Z” zoo!
- Engage your child in helping with house hold chores: Depending on age and ability, folding laundry (maybe just washcloths to start) is a great way to practice skills kids will benefit from, but also give them a sense of responsibility and pride. Why not do those simple chores while standing!?
- Cooking: This can lead to limitless opportunities! Measuring and dumping ingredients to whatever you decide to make, stirring it up, pouring it into a pan, and of course helping to sample the food when done. You may end up standing longer than you anticipated!