Ideas with a Trapeze

Here are some activity ideas that are fun and easy to do at home. These games will help with their motor development, sensory and emotional regulation, and to blow off steam when school work or other pressure is getting challenging. Although these activities can be done indoors, they are ideal to do outside if possible, which will help them to get off the couches and screens, which is something we are all battling with.

Do what you can or feel that you have energy for. The idea is to share ideas and to spark creativity.

Make a trapeze out of an old broom stick. Make sure that you hang it up where the kids will not get hurt or fall. Make sure all knots are secured.

Spinning, just for fun. Encourage the child to stop in between, and to change direction. Check regularly to see that they do not get dizzy or feel over-stimulated.
Swinging and landing: good for developing awareness of judging distance and timing.
Jumping and pulling up with two hands. Encourage child to try and hold the position for a couple of seconds, or as long as possible. Good for postural control and strength in hands, Ensure child is holding the trapeze with the hold hand, and the thumb closed under the bar.
Running and kicking away against hard surface such as a tree or wall. Can encourage child to keep legs lifted and not touch the ground between pushes. Good for facilitating shoulder stability and trunk control, especially tummy muscles.
Swing and drop socks in a laundry basket, which is a stable target and the child can focus on her own movements. Now also incorporating eye muscles as the child has to look at the target and judge when to drop the socks in the right place and at the right moment.
Swing and drop balls with different sizes in a laundry basket. Different sizes and weight provide different feedback and the child has to adapt to the subtle differences in order to grade movements and achieve success by not over- or under-shooting and missing the target.
Use heavier toys to increase weight of objects that the child has to lift, which is good for increasing resistance and providing more sensory feedback through the child’s whole body.
Lifting legs over a higher object such as a cooler, and landing on both sides. Can repeat a couple of times.
Making it more difficult as child is encouraged to lift legs a little bit higher over the cooler in order to drop the toys with different sizes and weight in the basket on the other side of the cooler.
Keep legs together and jump over a rolling ball while holding onto the trapeze. Now also incorporating a moving target which the child does not have control over.
Swing and kick a ball that is thrown towards child at about hip height. This is more difficult as the ball is coming towards the child much faster than when it was rolling on the ground. The child also has to coordinate swinging movements to kick the ball that is coming towards the child in the air at just the right moment. Timing is crucial here.

To summarise activity ideas with a trapeze:

  • Spin
  • Swing and land
  • Pull-ups
  • Kick against a hard surface like a tree or pole
  • Throw objects with different sizes and weight in a basket
  • Lift legs and swing over a higher object e.g. cooler
  • Throw objects into the basket while lifting legs over the cooler
  • Hold knees together and swing over a rolling ball
  • Swing and kick a ball that is thrown by an adult or sibling

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