This post will explore fun activities for children using Incline Ramps! The Incline Ramp is a fabulous piece of equipment that can be used with children from an early age, and can be adapted as the child grows and their needs evolve. It is a great tool for home, school, and therapy gym settings and one of the top picks in our Pediatric PT Toolbox!
The Incline Ramp can be used to encourage tummy time, crawling, climbing, and walking. It can also help to address balance, coordination, strength and motor planning. The Incline Ramp is also excellent for use in the treatment of Toe Walking and Flat Feet.
Enjoy our Five Fun Activities with…Incline Ramps!
1. Tummy Time
The incline ramp is a great equipment option for practicing tummy time. Offering a soft and padded surface, the incline ramp provides graded assistance against gravity to help child push up on hands or forearms, supporting upper body and encouraging head and neck extension!
As child gets older tummy time is still important! The incline ramp offers wonderful opportunities to challenge your child. Seen above Abe gets a great workout using trunk and upper body strength to manipulate puzzle pieces!
We can also use the ramp to encourage quadruped position (on all fours) for upper and lower weight bearing opportunities and preparation for crawling.
2. Ramp Walks
Encouraging child to walk up and down the ramp is a great way to focus on strengthening, balance, coordination and motor planning! Using the incline ramp as part of an obstacle course helps to target the activation of intrinsic arch muscles of foot, especially for children with low tone and children with flat feet. We utilize the incline ramp as part of our Flat Feet Treatment protocol!
Stepping up and down from the edge of the ramp is a helpful precursor to teaching Stair Climbing skills, as child learns to navigate small step up and down, we target concentric and eccentric lower extremity strength and control! We utilize the colored spots as helpful visual cues for foot placement as child steps up and down.
3. Dynamic Balance
The incline ramp offers great opportunities for standing and sitting activities to address dynamic balance, postural reactions and trunk strength and stability.
When sitting on the incline ramp, child has to adjust center of gravity to maintain balance, as they shift their weight, and activate trunk musculature to interact with activity. Seen above, Abe maintains his sitting balance while engaging with his favorite shape puzzle!
In standing the incline ramp serves not only as a wonderful dynamic balance challenge, but also offers an excellent opportunity for active stretching of the calf and hamstring muscles! Seen above, Abe maintains standing balance at top of incline ramp while his upper body is engaged with his chalk board easel, activating the intrinsic plantar muscles of his foot (which comprise his arch), providing a great lower extremity stretch and balance challenge!
We utilize the incline ramp in our Toe Walking Treatment protocol!
4. Ball Ramp Bowling
Another fun activity is Ball Ramp Bowling! Encourage child to push therapy ball up ramp to knock down pins. We love to use colored cones for this activity! Incorporating upper and lower body strength, coordination, and motor planning. Pushing the therapy ball offers an additional sensory component, providing important proprioceptive input to child’s upper body!
5. Incline Ramp Sit Ups
You can also use the incline ramp for a great trunk strengthening activity, by allowing child to lie back on incline ramp you can use bubbles or other motivating objects for child to reach supporting their feet to encourage them to activate trunk musculature to sit up.
With child’s head elevated on incline, the sit up is less challenging, with child’s feet elevated on incline, the sit up is more challenging!
We hope you enjoyed our Five Fun Activities with Incline Ramps! For more activity ideas check out Five Fun Activities with Balance Beams!
Learn more about Dinosaur Physical Therapy!