Activities for Kids: Exercises for Children in Wheelchairs

Activities for Kids: Exercises for Children in Wheelchairs

Physical activity is important for all children, including those children with special needs.  Even in a classroom with children who do not use wheelchairs, those who do have wheelchairs can still participate in modified activities.

Warm-Ups: Ball-tossing activities work the upper body and hand-eye coordination, and they are great activities for kids that also work on social and team-building skills.  Many children in wheelchairs need to work on their upper body strength; another great idea is to put poly spots on the ground and ask children to hop or run to each spot, and children in wheelchairs can push their chairs to each spot.  Weightlifting exercises can also improve the upper body muscle coordination and strength.

Wheelchair Dancing: Dancing can be an aerobic and social exercise.  You can teach coordinated dance steps such as moving forward, backwards, and from side to side.  You can also do “sitting down” dances that might also involve a lot of upper body movements.  You can even try musical games such as musical chairs; place cards on the ground and move around to the music.  When the music stops, kids must move the chair over a card; each round, take a card away just as you would take a chair away.

Races: Set up an obstacle course or a relay race for your children in wheelchairs.  These race activities for kids give them a cardio workout and promote team awareness and sport.  Obstacle courses might involve moving the chair around cones, or it can involve a task such as tossing a basketball into the hoop.

Parachutes: Parachutes provide a means for fun activities for kids.  Moving the parachute up and down, coordinating the movement, or tossing balls onto a parachute and watching them bounce as the kids move it are motivating and exciting activities for kids.

Cool Down: It’s important to cool down after physical activities for kids, and doing arm stretches would be a great idea for a cooling activity for kids in wheelchairs.  You could also put on some background music and practice tracking with bubbles and let kids follow the bubbles or try to catch them with their fingers.  Also allow children to try to blow bubbles, which also helps with respiratory function and breathing control.

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Written by: Candice Evans See other articles by Candice Evans
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