When your child has a disability, it’s easy to fall into the trap of doubt. Even the most supportive parents have had moments when they didn’t believe in their child’s abilities. While your child may not be able to interact with the world the same way as other children, this doesn’t mean that they can’t benefit from physical activity. There are many appropriate physical activities that can help children with a variety of disabilities grow, experience success and a feeling of belonging, and have fun.
One such disability is cerebral palsy. This neurological disorder impacts the brain’s motor area, which can make movement, sight, thinking, and hearing challenging. However, this doesn’t mean that children with cerebral palsy can’t participate in fun physical activities. In fact, these activities can help them improve their physical ability while also providing mental health benefits. The key is to find an activity that your child genuinely enjoys. In this blog, we have compiled a list of activities that your child may enjoy that can help them grow more independent and confident.
Visiting Parks and Other Outdoor Spaces
A park is a great place for your child with cerebral palsy to explore the world with you. You can visit the playground to socialize with other kids, engage in physical activity, and help with sensory development. There are many pieces of playground equipment that can be safely used by your child with proper supervision.
For example, you could go down the slide together, or push them on the swing, which can help them with balance. Alternatively, you can assist your child with exploring the park and taking in nature, pointing out any animals or interesting plants you see. The same can be said of a variety of outdoor spaces, such as zoos, gardens, or farmers’ markets. Simply allowing your child the opportunity to explore the outside world can be empowering and help with development.
Yoga is an incredibly beneficial physical activity for everyone, including your child with cerebral palsy. Yoga strengthens the muscles, improves flexibility, and betters balance. In addition, it has the mental benefits of meditation. Yoga is most advantageous when it is practiced regularly, so make a habit of doing yoga with your child on a regular basis.
Joining Team Sports
Even if your child is wheelchair-bound, there are still options for team sports. Not only will this improve the health of your child, it will also help them engage socially with peers. If your child is interested in a sport such as basketball, tennis, or rugby, there may be a rec center in your community that can accommodate. Check out the NCHPAD database for community centers and other institutions that have leagues that accommodate children with disabilities.
Swimming can be extremely empowering and offers a variety of health benefits. If your child enjoys swimming, you can take them regularly to the community pool to enjoy the water. Just make sure that you are with your child at all times in the pool. It’s a good idea for you to swim alongside them to ensure their safety.
Throwing a ball around is great for coordination and motor skills. Simply headed to the backyard to toss a ball around is a great form of exercise for your child. Alternatively, you can use a beach ball to teach them how to kick a ball as a good activity to strengthen their legs.
Fishing and Other Outdoor Activities
If you enjoy fishing, this is a great activity you can enjoy together. In fact, if you are an outdoorsman or woman, your child may want to come along with you for your next adventure. Hiking, horseback riding, biking, and rafting can all be adapted for children with cerebral palsy so you can enjoy the great outdoors together.
Talk to your child about which of these activities they might like to try. When you find one they enjoy, make a point to regularly do them to maximize their benefits.
At Evergreen Home Healthcare, it’s important to us to make sure that every child in our care has the highest quality of life possible. If you need help with pediatric home healthcare for your child with cerebral palsy, we would be honored to provide it for you. Contact us today to learn how we can help you in Denver.