It’s important to know when a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy their condition will NOT worsen overtime but can drastically improve through various methods such as therapy and FUN activities.
The GREAT news is that with continuous activities that encourage movement, a child’s muscles can be trained to improve their coordination and motor skills while allowing them the opportunity to hit developmental milestones.
But what things should you focus on?
Most importantly, what ENJOYABLE activities can you expose your child to while encouraging their motor skills?
We will explore 7 FUN ways to enhance a child’s skills diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Let’s dive in. 🙂
Music activities are a WONDERFUL form of therapy to help a child with CP be able to use their body movements while learning.
A few of the added benefits include clapping, dancing, and listening to song lyrics which can allow a child to learn new words.
Instrumental music playing is an excellent sensory activity that helps strengthen upper body functions while connecting fine motor and cognitive skills.
It doesn’t stop there, the beat of the music can help reduce muscle tension to allow concentration and focus!
Great instruments for a child with CP to play could be the drums, tambourine, maraca, and piano. The pure enjoyment of music creates an environment of optimism which has many perks both emotionally and physically.
#2. Hands-On Activities
The following list explains four engaging and cost effective hands-on activities your child can enjoy such as crafts or reading and a GREAT way to improve their fine motor skills.
Items needed; color construction paper and glue stick.
Allow your child to get messy during this playful activity by tearing the construction paper into all shapes and sizes.
Take the glue stick and glue the torn pieces onto a separate sheet of paper.
Egg Carton Painting and Banana Stamping
Items needed; egg carton, paint, and one banana.
Holding a paintbrush can be difficult for a child with motor disabilities but a banana will allow them to grasp around it easily.
Cut the banana in half and take the exposed end to dip into the non-toxic paint.
If the banana becomes too sloppy while dipping, you can take a small piece of saran wrap to wrap around the exposed banana end.
Items needed; large chalk.
Enjoy this activity on a beautiful day outside on the pavement or indoors on a chalkboard surface.
The colorful pieces of chalk will allow a child to learn colors including as improve their handle muscle movement while grasping the chalk.
Books are an inspiring educational activity to do together!
Reading to your child or getting them involved by flipping the pages is a helpful way to improve their speech and understand words.
You can also have your child name objects or characters they see in the book by pointing.
When you child points their fingers and uses their gestures, it will pave the way for their language development later on.
When a child says their very first word, it is usually a word they have pointed to!
Switching up a child’s routine to learn movement and coordination can be exciting!
Games are an AMAZING activity option to promote mobility through play.
A fun sensory activity a child can do to develop strength and control in their hands.
Encourage your child to break apart pieces of play-doh and create different figures such as rolling a ball or flatten into a pancake.
Choose colorful objects such as M&M’s or paper clips and sort them into baskets or small bowls by color, shape, or size.
A sticker book can be a creative outlet for a child to have fun while developing their finger muscles by pinching and pulling.
Stickers are also a great tool used to motivate movement!
For example, place a sticker on the top of a child’s shoe to spark their interest to bend over. Stickers can be placed on many objects to entice a variety of movements.
Water activities, such as swimming, are a BLAST to do anytime of the year indoors or outside.
Swimming can help promote physical function and concentration.
The buoyancy of water allows a child to move around more freely without placing stress on their muscles. It’s also a soothing form of therapy that allows a child to be playful while gaining confidence and independence in the water.
Overall, swimming is a safe and effective way for a child to strengthen motor functions while having fun at the same time.
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In our innovative world that is quickly changing, there are many activities with technology, such as enabling devices, a child can use to enhance their cognitive skills to help their brain to think, read, learn, reason, and remember.
A child with cerebral palsy may have loss of hearing but an assistive device can help them communicate their feelings, thoughts, increase their vocabulary, and gain confidence.
The device can continue being measured to fit and grow with the child into adulthood.
This type of device can open new worlds for a child by letting users communicate with those around them through a controlled voice-generated software.
It provides more independence and lets users have fun with computer games, advance their education, and express their creativity through other computer software such as music.
A leading technological gadget used by many children to encourage communication and language development. It provides guided interaction between the child and caretaker.
A child who has speech motor delays can become frustrated not being able to communicate their feelings and needs.
Whipping up delicious treats in the kitchen with your child can be a rewarding task to look forward to doing together daily.
Don’t be tempted to hold your child back, let them get involved with you as much as possible. 🙂
A GREAT way to begin your cooking session is to gather kitchen utensils that your child can use as their own (could be old or extra utensils you have lying around).
Allow them to get messy and utilize their tools as a creative outlet to engage in making the food with you.
This activity can stimulate executive function teaching your child to develop their mental skills.
I hope this post added value to your research efforts in finding FUN activities for cerebral palsy.
If there are other activities you would recommend, questions you may have, or anything you’d like to add that I did not cover in this post, please feel free to comment below.
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