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

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

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pediatric PT Toolkit - Beads!

A favorite item in my Pediatric PT toolkit is a string of Mardi Gras beads.  Not only are they shiny and brightly colored, but they are easy for young children to grasp.  They are a small, inexpensive treatment tool, which is great for therapists who perform home visits.  I use them to achieve several goals during my treatment sessions:

  • When performing a procedure that children do not like or are reluctant to perform, such as stretching, balance training, or positioning, the beads serve as a useful distraction while the therapist works with the child.
  • Since infants and young children are attracted to the beads, they are a great motivator for reaching tasks and early mobility such as rolling, crawling, and creeping.
  • I use beads to help with squatting and pulling to stand by alternately placing them on the floor, then on a table.  When children are a bit older, they can squat down to pick up a string of beads, then stand up to put them into a container.
These are just a few examples of the myriad of uses for Mardi Gras beads during pediatric PT sessions.  Be creative and find other uses for them!  I'd love to hear how you use them in your comments.

*Since the beads can be a choking hazard if the string breaks, please make sure that children are closely supervised at all times while using the beads!


This link is from amazon.com, where you can buy Mardi Gras beads year-round.  Seasonally, you can also find them at OrientalTrading.com or at party stores.

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