Friday, March 16, 2012

Benefits of Gross Motor Play

Below is the first in a series of guest posts here on The Bub Hub.  Keep reading for some incredible information from our friends at North Shore Pediatric Therapy!

Benefits of Gross Motor Play
By Leida van Oss, PT, DPT

                  Gross motor play is play that is targeting towards development of gross motor skills. Gross motor skills are activities that require large groups of muscles like running, jumping, and throwing. Doing exercises and activities with children is very different than with adults because their attention span is not as long. It is important that exercising and doing work is fun; otherwise a child will not want to participate or cooperate. There are lots of fun activities to do with children that will work on development of their gross motor skills. Their age and current level of function will dictate what kinds of activities would be appropriate.  Click here for more Gross Milestones for Infants.  It is important that children experience some sort gross motor play every day to ensure that the child is developing appropriately. Without gross motor play, a child will have decreased strength, balance, coordination, and endurance. Below are some suggestions for children at various ages:
Gross Motor Activities for Infants birth to 2 years
  • -        Tummy time! It is vital that babies spend time on their tummies, because it will lead to crawling, proper coordination between hands and body, as well as correct hand development. To help make tummy time more enjoyable, you can put various toys around the baby or mirrors for entertainment.  More ideas:
  • -        Looking to both sides, up, and down (playing peek-a-boo or looking for a toy)
  • -        Crawling over cushions or rolled up blankets, or through tunnels
  • -        Cruising along different pieces of furniture
  • -        Pushing and pulling objects
  • -        Rolling a ball
  • -        Squatting to pick up toys

Gross Motor Activities for Children 2 years and older
  • -        Swimming and other water games
  • -        Dancing
  • -        Running around outside (playing Tag or Red Light, Green Light)
  • -        Going on walks
  • -        Riding tricycles, scooters, and bikes
  • -        Jumping, hopping, skipping (playing hop-scotch, jumping rope)
  • -        Playing on playground equipment (climbing, monkey bars, swinging)
  • -        Playing catch or soccer – use various sizes of balls
  • -        Playing sports

The most important thing to remember with gross motor play is to HAVE FUN!

Leida van Oss, PT, DPT is a licensed physical therapist at North Shore Pediatric Therapy.  She obtained her doctorate of physical therapy from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science. Prior to that, she received her bachelors of science in human biology.  North Shore Pediatric Therapy is a multi-disciplinary clinic with locations in Bucktown, Glenview and Highland Park Illinois.  North Shore Pediatric Therapy specializes in Pediatric Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Social Work, Behavior 911, Executive Functioning, Nutritional Counseling, Tutoring, Reading and Neuropsychology Diagnostics and Support. We are dedicated to helping children blossom.
 To read more blogs from North Shore Pediatric Therapy, Click Here

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Week THREE: Recap!

Today was a fruit-tastic day in Taste Buddies! We made Waldorf Salads, Macaroni and Cheese, and Fruit Ice Cream Cones. I am so proud of our Taste Buddies- they are becoming amazing little chefs!

This is such a great recipe. Traditionally, this salad is made with mayonnaise, but we used vanilla yogurt. Feel free to put some shredded chicken in it as well! We put our salad in pita bread to make mini pita pockets, but you can eat it by itself or dip crackers in it. Yum!

We put bacon in our mac and cheese. Can't go wrong with this one!

We simply put seasonal berries inside of an ice cream cone and served it for dessert today! This is a great way to make fruit a dessert for dinner!

Week THREE: Waldorf Salad and Mac and Cheese

  • 1/4 cup of chopped grapes
  • 1/4 cup of chopped green/red apples
  • 1/4 cup of chopped celery
  • 1/8 cup of cranberry raisins
  • 1/4 cup of vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • Pita bread or crackers for dipping!
  1. Combine fruit, celery, and cranberry raisins. 
  2. Drizzle with lemon juice. 
  3. Pour vanilla yogurt on top and stir until fruit is evenly coated. 
  4. Dip pita bread or crackers in salad. Enjoy!

  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 5 cups of precooked macaroni noodles
  • 1/8 cup of bacon pieces
  1. Heat milk, flour, and butter over low heat until butter is melted.
  2. Gradually add in shredded cheese until desired consistency is reached. For a thicker sauce, add more flour. For a thinner sauce, add more milk.
  3. Once sauce is at desired consistency, pour over precooked noodles and mix in bacon pieces. Serve immediately. Enjoy!