As a Pediatric Physical Therapist, I am always looking for new ways to encourage carry over of the work during our individual PT sessions – especially in regards to postural awareness, trunk strength & promoting proximal stability to address distal strength.
Alternative seating options can provide opportunities for movement while promoting postural control, balance, coordination, strength & endurance. When a child is actively engaging their proximal muscle groups they have more control in their distal muscle groups, essential for many classroom activities.
These ideas do not just apply to school settings, but to the home setting as well. When your child is doing homework, creating beautiful artwork, building impressive structures with legos, really any activity at home can be bolstered by the incorporation of one of these alternative seating options!
The cube chair is a great option for smaller children. It offers three different height options as the child grows. We want to promote weight bearing through feet with hips, knees & ankles at around 90 degree angle for optimal postural activation and trunk control.
The peanut ball offers different size options to accommodate each child’s needs. With feet planted in straddle sit position, the peanut ball allows for gentle weight shifting, promoting abdominal and oblique activation.
The peanut ball can also be used with both feet in front of ball to promote greater postural control and trunk strength.
Balance Ball Chair
The balance ball chair promotes postural control, while allowing the child opportunities for movement and sensory input. It is an incredible tool in the classroom or home setting!
The wobble cushion can be used directly on the floor or the child’s chair. The cushion promotes core stability, trunk engagement, balance and postural awareness.
The wobble cushion can also be used behind the child’s back to prevent slouching, as it provides gentle tactile input to encourage more upright posture.
The wedge cushion is a wonderful tool to address sitting posture. The wedge allows for slight pelvic tilt, encouraging engagement of trunk musculature. It comes in two sizes. The larger size is ideal for the floor, while the smaller size fits easily on the child’s chair.
The Wobble Stool is a dynamic sitting option, promoting trunk strength & stability. The Wobble Stool allows for weight shifting and postural awareness.
Another great alternative is working at vertical surfaces. This can be at an easel, whiteboard, or chalkboard. Working at a vertical surface promotes upper body stability, encourages bilateral coordination, hand eye coordination, and trunk activation.
Add in therapy ball with vertical surface activity for added postural engagement. It is also a great sensory break for children!
Working in prone is another great alternative addressing upper body weight bearing, shoulder strength & stability, back extensor mobility, head & neck extension.
The addition of the soft incline wedge promotes greater back extensor strength & shoulder stability challenge in prone position!
Learn more about Dinosaur Physical Therapy!