Snow Day Fun: Shoveling & Beyond
Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
Who does not love a snow day? Getting outdoors and playing in the snow is a great way to strengthen muscles, and provide the body with plenty of sensory input. Because of the weight of the snow, shoveling is the ultimate workout. Here are several more goal-oriented activities that are so fun your child will have no idea how hard he/she is working!
Making a snow man is the epitome of outdoor winter fun. Rolling large snow balls and transporting them by hand or sled is a good way to build strength. Stacking one on top of another is strengthening and requires gross eye hand coordination.
- Constructing the snow man with siblings, friends, and neighbors is an opportunity to work collaboratively and facilitate social participation.
- Adding on features and body parts is a fun chance to work on body awareness.
- Making snow angels is a great way to move the arms ands legs together to improve bilateral coordination. Moving against the resistive snow can help strengthen both the upper and lower body and bolster body awareness.
- Sleigh riding downhill is a good vestibular (movement) activity. The speed and intensity of the movement is an ideal way to provide vestibular input in a natural setting to heighten body awareness.
- Pulling the sled uphill for the next run is an excellent way to strengthen the upper body
- Log rolling down a snowy hill is a way to provide a less intense vestibular experience because you can be more in control of the speed, but it is a wonderful way to foster sense of body position in space.
- Play “Follow the Leader” to develop gross motor coordination skills. Make a path in the snow and have your child follow in your footsteps.
- Bull’s-Eye Snowball: Draw a bull’s eye on a tree. Each player must roll a snowball and aim for the target. This fun game is great for eye-hand coordination.
- To build shoulder stability and hand strength, fill a spray bottle with food coloring and water. Hold the bottle at shoulder height. Spray shapes, numbers, or letters in the snow. Be sure to make the solution dilute so that the grass underneath does not become stained. The more water and the heavier the bottle, the greater the workout.
Blog by: Aviva Goldwasser, MS, OTR & Chaye Lamm Warburg, DPS, OTR,