Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In my therapy bag...bubble wrap

Holiday gift giving brings lots of packages with a variety of interesting packaging. I'm always looking for ways to re-use the packaging, such as bubble wrap. I often use standard bubble wrap to work on jumping (kids love to hear that pop!) and fine motor/pinching skills. The other day I received a package in the mail with a different kind of bubble wrap:

This Sealed Air bubble wrap does not pop as easily as standard bubble wrap (you can see in the first picture that an entire row is deflated, but that happened after doing the activity described below). All of the bubbles are connected, so when you squeeze one bubble, the air simply moves into the neighboring bubble.

I decided to incorporate this bubble wrap into an activity with a two year old who frequently walks on his toes. I simply had him stand on the bubble wrap while we played catch with a ball. I also had him squat to pick up toys while keeping his feet flat. The movement of air from one bubble to another slightly challenged his balance and provided additional sensory input to encourage him to keep his feet flat. This was a fun adaptation to an activity that we've done before and the new twist maintained his attention for a longer period of time!

Here's the bubble wrap in action:

For more information on toe walking, The Mayo Clinic provides a basic overview of toe walking here. For a physical therapist's point of view on toe walking, click here for information on toe walking from Dr. Joni Redlich, DPT.

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