Katie Eggleston DPT, physical therapist at the Pineville office of Child and Family Development, emphasizes that we can improve our health and build motor skills not just in a physical therapy session or gym, but in everyday events and activities already happening around the house. In February, Katie suggests getting kids involved in taking care of pets…supervised of course!
- As the weather warms up, walking the dog is a great way to sneak in some exercise working on leg strength and cardio-respiratory endurance.
- Stand on tiptoes or climb a small step stool to feed animals in cages or tanks to build leg strength and balance.
- For kids of an appropriate age, work on leg strength with squatting to help scoop cat litter or fill food dishes.
- Playing catch/fetch outdoors with the family dog: parent throws ball to child to catch who then throws for the dog to chase. This can greatly improve hand eye coordination as well as bilateral coordination for throwing with alternate arm/leg.
As an added bonus, kids will learn about care-taking and responsibility, the bond with animals will deepen, and the parent gets a little chore relief!