Category: Move Tool


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We have found that getting out to explore has really broken up our day and given us something to look forward to.  We head into the woods across the street from our house and are thrilled with the opportunity nature lends.

The kiddos immediately start climbing, working on proprioception, body awareness and strength!

Once at the top, they found some long fallen trees to walk along.  How great for balance and the vestibular system!?

They continue to increase their challenge while judging for safety and ability – working on safety and body awareness!

We then have to cross a stream, and their were multiple avenues to get to the other side.  They each made their choice, demonstrating self-efficacy, reflecting their confidence in their ability to accomplish the task.  When returning, they each took a more challenging path increasing self-esteem as they made it successfully!


As we navigated our hike, they were able to point out paths we had taken before and make suggestions for where we should venture this time.  We ended up finding a large pipe that they could crawl the whole way which captivating them for some time!

During each adventuring trip, G and C take turns being the “trailblazer” leading the way and warning the rest of the pack about obstacles along the path.  This allows them to feel empowered to lead and learn responsibility.

Please share what types of adventures you and your family have been on 🙂

Categories: Move Tool Soothe Tool

Creating Our Own Jump Rope!

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In browsing the internet for plans, I came across a STEAM challenge for PE:

Blowing Off S.T.E.A.M. in Physical Education: Make Your Own Jump Rope

It looked really fun, so we borrowed the idea.  I tweaked it a little bit to make sense for them, here is how it went:

We challenged the kids to practice jump roping for the next thirty days in a row.  The only problem is that we don’t have a rope and need to build one from scratch!  They could gather any material (except for an actual jump rope!) from around the house to use.  We asked them to come up with an amount of time that seemed reasonable to gather the items.  They decided that ten minutes sounded good! We told them to think about the length, weight, and feel of the handles.

C came back with a handful of elastics while G returned with a lot of paper, pillow stuffing, and tape.  Her idea was to roll up all of the paper and attach each piece with tape.  She worked hard at attaching the rolled papers, but wasn’t having much success.  She realized that this would create a straight line of paper with no flexibility.  She then took the elastics and tried putting them together.  It was cool because she just learned how to make elastic bracelets, so she used the same method.  We quickly realized that we didn’t have nearly enough elastics to make a rope big enough!  C was pretty checked out at this point… it didn’t really hold his attention. Looking back, if we had given him specific materials and just told him to build on his own, we think it would have been better for him.  G was really into it though!  She remained optimistic as we thought of other things we could use.


Her new thought: fabric!! Luckily, J has an entire closet of fabric, so G grabbed a big bag of scraps and thought it out.  (We asked her what she might suggest to families that do not have a big closet of fabric, and she thought they could use old clothes or towels) Initially, she wanted to glue them together, but realized that tying them was a better idea.  She picked flexible fabric, tied it together, and used elastics to attach pillow filling for comfortable handles.  She tried her rope, and realized it wasn’t heavy enough.  She picked more fabric, this one was thicker, and she attached it to the middle.  In the end, the rope worked perfectly, and she had fun trying it out! It was great to see her brainstorm and problem solve.  It was also nice to see her continue to work after failing on her first attempts! 

Fun Family Game!

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I had plans to run a really fun pin knockdown game this spring.  I figured we could adjust the game to  play it at home!

In the gym, we were going to use hula hoops, and bowling pins.  We don’t have these at home, so we improvised.  We used painters tape and 2 liter bottles instead. There are two teams, you could adjust based on the amount of people you have interested in playing.  Since there are four of us at home, it made for an easy 2v2 match up.  It’s structured much like corn-hole.

Using painters tape, I made a square scoring zone for each team.  The sides of the square were 22 inches, which I think I will make a little bigger next time.  The squares were about 15-20 feet apart from each other.  In the center of each square we had an empty 2 liter bottle.  From there, we tested out different balls to roll/throw at the empty bottles.  To begin the game, you stand next to your partner.  The first person rolling/throwing attempts to knock down the empty bottle on the other side.  You have to stay behind the front of the box on your teams side. After the attempt is made, a member from the opposing team takes a turn and you continue to alternate.


1 point if you knock down the bottle

2 points if you are able to knock down the bottle and have the ball remain in the box


We played until one team was able to make 11 points, having to win by 2.  The scoring can always be adjusted.

We had a variety of ball options, including a softer yarn ball, a spike ball, and a larger nubby ball (ones that come from arcade grabs).

Jessica and I favored the yarn ball and the kids usually used the larger one.  J & C took game 1 while C and I won game 2.  We all had a blast playing!! This will be one that we play often during our time at home.




Physical Education Ideas!

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MOVE Tools of the Month

I just volunteered at G’s Spree Day and was posted at Dizzy Bat!  Oh boy, spinning is not my thing! For each group demonstration, I put my head on that bad and spun around 1 time, and 1 time was enough for me.  I explained to the kids that they needed to do that three times, because there was no way I could handle those 3 spins! When does this happen, why do we LOVE to spin when we are kids but as adults one rotation is more than we can handle?

Spinning or ROTATION is one of the three planes of movement, and the one that kids seem to seek out the most.  Rotation stimulates our vestibular system but also helps us to find our center of gravity. So young children spin so they can learn more about balance and where their body is in space.   The more we feel where we are in space, the more grounded, comforted, and focused we are!


ANGULAR movement is exciting for our sensory systems, stimulating fluid in more than one of the semi-circular canals in our ears at the same time.  These types of movements are often irregular and FUN – bouncing, flipping, falling, hanging upside-down. Again, the more movement, the more informed we are about our bodies! These types of movements are necessary for child development, but can really rev up our engines.  For us, at home, I know that when my kids starting spinning and running around, their bodies need it! But of course it always happens right before bedtime. So planning some rough play, playground time, forward rolls, etc. earlier in the day can help kiddos to meet their need prior to bedtime.


The last plane of movement is LINEAR and this type of movement can be calming.  When moving RHYTHMICALLY and in one plane (back <-> front, side <-> side); movements like walking, rocking, swinging can help with regulating the body.   Think about how you feel during and after sitting in a rocking chair or going for a leisurely walk. More clear, more content.


SO with all this in mind, I thought, lets get a swing that will offer that nice linear movement, partially enclosed to block out some auditory and visual input – perfect right? For helping with calming and regulating…

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Well look at how they are using it!  Twisting it up tight and letting go for some crazy spinning!  My kids are giving their vestibular systems exactly what they need.   And clearly they still need a lot of input that stimulates their system, helping to better develop that sense of balance and position in space.


The other swing in our playroom seems to be offering more for calming and regulating – our trapeze bar! G spends at least an hour in total every day, swinging back and forth and hanging upside-down from her knees. It’s a great swing, because it offers a lot of PROPRIOCEPTION or muscle work as they hang and hold their body weight. Swinging in the back and forth plane and getting proprioception at the same time, actually ends up being the more regulating tool, despite my attempt with the pod swing!


Both of these swings are perfect for indoor and outdoors, and perhaps the change of location could also change the purpose of the swing.  I picture this swing to be perfect for curling up and reading a book. But, of course, my kids might still think otherwise 😉

The 3 Word Review


C (4): Swingy, Two, Metal

G (7): Swing, Flip, Fun

Pod Swing

C: Spinny, Silky, Fast

G: Swing, Fun, Squishy


Something to keep in mind: Kids typically know what their bodies need, in terms of movement, but when they are asking to be pushed or spun, it is important to look check in and look for signs of overstimulation – such as color change, change in respiration, or sudden nausea.


Categories: Move Tool