I'm not just a PT, I'm also a parent!

I'm not just a PT, I'm also a parent!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

2015 Gift Guide

Are you looking for a gift for a child who struggles with gross motor skills?  Look no farther!


Rody is a fun alternative to a peanut ball for working on balance skills and trunk/leg strengthening.  His legs offer more stability and his ears are a handy place for kids to hold on while they bounce.  Not only is Rody super cute, but they come in all kinds of fun colors. 

Teeter Popper

This toy is similar to a standard rocker or balance board, but with one fun feature -- it's suction cup bottom provides great auditory feedback!  The suction cups also provide a bit more stability for those who struggle with their balance.  WARNING:  This may not be the best choice for those who are sensitive to sound.  For them, try a standard rocker board.

Wobble Deck

For a different type of challenge, try the Wobble Deck.  By playing one of its 3 games, kids' balance is challenged even further.  Because it moves in multiple planes, this toy is more appropriate for kids 4 and up with good balance.

Magic Moves Electronic Wand

Not only does this toy encourage movement, but it also helps kids to follow simple commands.  Kids will move like animals, dance, or freeze -- perfect for motor group activities, as well!

Cat in the Hat "I Can Do That!" Game

This is a quieter option to encourage movement and following directions.  Some of the activities are quite silly, which just makes them more fun!  It also comes in a smaller card game version.

Twister Moves

This is another fun game to encourage gross motor skills, balance, and following directions.  The CD will instruct players to step on the colored circles to dance along with the music.  It's a bit fast-paced, so it may frustrate beginners.  And because the instructions ask the players to step on certain colors, it may be difficult for those with visual impairments.

Hopscotch Rug

This is a way to bring hopscotch indoors during inclement weather and to add some cute decor to your home at the same time.  These are a fun way to learn numbers, sequencing, counting forwards and backwards, jumping, and hopping.

Bean Bags

Bean bags are a painless way to learn throwing and catching.  Throw them into a bucket, play corn hole, throw them into hula hoops laid on the ground or taped to the wall, try to strike a target -- the possibilities are endless.  And as a bonus, they come in really cute colors and shapes that can add to the learning by teaching colors and letters.  "Throw the bean bag with the letter A."  "Catch the green frog!"

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fun Ways to Encourage Tummy Time

Tummy time is important for an infant's development.  Here are fun ways to encourage tummy time with your little one:

1.  Put baby on your chest 

Babies enjoy being held, so lay back and put baby on your chest to enjoy some face time.  Seriously, who can resist their child's sweet face?   If baby can't tolerate being all the way on his or her tummy, lay on an angled surface.

2.  Use a Biddy Belly

I reviewed this nifty toy in a previous post: Products I Love - Biddy Belly


3.  Find a fun tummy time mat

When I had my first baby, I questioned the necessity of a tummy time mat.  However, if your child is resistant to tummy time, there are some really neat tummy time mats out there! Some have flat mirrors, while others have different textures.  Some have toys attached and others have a water-filled insert.  Find something that will capture your little one's attention and have some fun!

4.  Sensory Play

Give your little one something fun to do while on his or her tummy that also encourages sensory integration.  Here are some fun ideas:
  •  Put a toy that lights up and/or plays music in front of baby to encourage her to push up and reach while on her tummy.
  • Put a cookie sheet in front of baby and put some water or whipped cream into it to encourage exploration and splashing.  Supervise your child all all times during this activity!
  • Put a mirror or light box in front of baby to encourage visual stimulation and pushing up on his forearms or palms.
5.  Use a therapy/exercise ball

If you have an exercise ball or a peanut ball, lay your baby on the ball on his or her tummy.  Roll baby forward and back toward your face or a mirror to give him or her something interesting to look at.  On a regular ball, you can also rock baby from side to side.  Oftentimes, baby will extend his or her trunk while on the ball, encouraging prone extension for strengthening.  Please hold your child at all times while he or she is on a ball! (unlike the photo below)

photo from http://www.especialneeds.com/straight-roll.html

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Diastasis Recti (Part 5) - Postpartum Exercise

I just wanted to share an interesting article with you.  It's about postpartum exercise, particularly following a C-section, but I was impressed that diastasis recti was mentioned.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Part I - Lose Your Mummy Tummy DVD

My last month of pregnancy was more difficult than we anticipated.  Aside from the pain I consistently experience during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters and my diastasis recti, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  My blood sugar was well-controlled and my baby was a good size until week 38, when I was told that baby was measuring at 40 weeks and my sugars were starting to go haywire.  As a result, I had to be induced by 39 weeks.

Fortunately, my baby boy was born perfectly healthy with no signs of hypoglycemia or jaundice.  Unfortunately, mommy suffered some injuries during the birth process and I was just given a clean bill of health and cleared for full activity yesterday. 

Mommy's little angel at 8 weeks

As a result, I will begin my Tupler Technique post-partum exercise program!  I will be watching the Lose Your Mummy Tummy DVD and using Julie Tupler's technique to help correct my diastasis recti and get back into shape.

Along the way, I will share embarrassing photos of myself and keep you informed of my progress.  Wish me luck, as with 4 little boys running around, it's hard to find quiet time to myself!

Here is my mummy tummy before starting the Tupler Technique:

Though this is embarrassing to show publicly, I'm sucking up my pride in trying to help other mamas out there!

Please excuse my topographical roadmap -- when mama is only 4'11", baby has nowhere to grow except straight out!  And after 4 pregnancies, this is what happens.  Hopefully, the next series of photos will look a lot prettier than this...