Cerebral Palsy activities to encourage movement can drastically improve a child’s skills both physically and mentally over time.
But what things should you do?
Here are 10 fun and effective activities to…
- Progress fine motor skills
- Develop strength and coordination
- Increase happiness 🙂
Let’s dive in!
Be sure to stick around until the end of the post to access your bonus resource!
Music activities are a wonderful form of therapy to encourage a child to use their body movements while learning.
The benefits of music allow children to…
- Move and groove
- Learn new words through lyrics
- Socially interact
- Concentrate and focus
- Play an instrument
Instrumental music playing is an excellent sensory activity to strengthen upper body functions too (like the hand, arm, and finger muscles).
Great instruments for a child with CP to play could be the drums, tambourine, maraca, and piano.
The pure enjoyment of music creates an environment of optimism which has many perks both emotionally and physically!
Final Takeaway: Music helps to improve motor skills and challenges cognitive thinking. If you need a music set with an assortment of instruments, the one below is the best bang for your buck.
Visit a Park, Garden, or Zoo
If your child is sensitive to noises or gets nervous around lots of people, a park, garden, or zoo would be a great activity to do.
These large open spaces help to prevent overstimulation.
Generally, the atmosphere is pretty peaceful and there’s a lot to explore.
Pack a picnic, take a bike ride, or enjoy some quiet one-on-one time with your precious one.
Final Takeaway: Visiting a large outdoor space that isn’t overly crowded, is a great activity for kids with sensory issues.
Crafts are a fantastic hands-on activity to develop fine motor skills.
Here are three budget-friendly crafts you can do to inspire creative play.
Torn Paper Texture Art
Items needed: (1) color construction paper (2) glue stick
Allow your child to get a little messy during this playful activity. 🙂
Have your kiddo go wild tearing the construction paper into all shapes and sizes.
Take the glue stick to glue the torn pieces onto a separate sheet of paper.
If you need construction paper in various hues, I recommend the ones below.
Final Takeaway: This activity enhances hand-eye coordination and fine motor development.
Egg Carton Painting and Banana Stamping
Items needed: (1) egg carton (2) paint (3) one banana
Holding a paintbrush can be difficult for a child with motor disabilities.
A banana does the trick!
Cut the banana in half leaving the peel on.
Take the exposed end to dip into the non-toxic paint.
If the banana becomes too sloppy while dipping, take a small piece of saran wrap to wrap around the exposed banana end.
Final Takeaway: Painting is a great way to focus on fine motor development. I love this non-toxic paint (suggested below) because it’s budget-friendly, toxic-free, and you can mix it up to make any color you want. For a fun sensory experience, use it as finger paint!
Colorful Large Chalk
Items needed: (1) large chalk
Drawing chalk is one of the best outdoor activities for kids to enjoy on a sunny day.
Draw outside on the sidewalk, driveway, or patio.
If mother nature doesn’t cooperate, get creative coloring on a chalkboard surface inside.
Final Takeaway: The colorful pieces of chalk helps kids learn colors. Plus, it improves and develops hand muscle movements while grasping the chalk.
Books are an inspiring learning activity to do together!
Reading to your child is a helpful way to improve numerous things like…
- Word development
- Imaginary play
- Focus and concentration
Get your child involved in reading with you by letting them flip the pages, name objects or characters they see in the book by pointing.
When your child points their fingers and uses their gestures, it supports language development.
Here’s a fun fact…
When a child says their very first word, it is usually a word they have pointed to!
Final Takeaway: For kids with or without speech development delays, reading is one of the best activities to do to improve speech and communication skills.
Toys and Games
Toys and games are a fantastic way to promote mobility through play!
Kids who experience motor delays or movement challenges benefit from these three popular toy or game items …
You may already have these things in your home!
Play-doh is an engaging sensory activity to develop strength and control in the hands.
Several ways to encourage your child’s motor skills while playing:
- Ask them to break apart pieces of play-doh
- Create different figures (like rolling a ball or flattening into a pancake)
- Construct make-believe things like an island or your very own pizza
Final Takeaway: If you need an engaging activity to calm your child, play-doh is the must-have toy to keep on hand.
To build upon a child’s thinking skills, sorting objects is a wonderful game to play.
Choose colorful items like M&M’s or paper clips.
Sort them into baskets or small bowls by color, shape, or size.
Final Takeaway: Sorting games help kids identify colors, build visual perception and early math skills. I recommend the paper clips below because they are bright colors and come in both medium and jumbo sizes.
Sticker books provide a creative outlet for kids to have fun while developing their finger muscles.
They are a great tool to use to motivate action because it forces you to pinch, pull, and move.
For instance, place a sticker on the top of your kiddo’s shoe to spark their interest to bend over.
There are so many ways to entice a variety of movements through sticker placement!
Final Takeaway: Stickers are a great way to practice neat pincer grasp skills. For kids who love Disney, I recommend the sticker book below because it most likely has one of your child’s favorite characters. 🙂
A water activity, like swimming, is a blast to do any time of the year indoors or outdoors.
Cerebral Palsy kids benefit from swimming in a few ways…
- Gain confidence
- Feel independent
- A soothing form of therapy
- Promotes physical function and concentration
- The buoyancy of the water allows freedom to move (without placing stress on the muscles)
Final Takeaway: Swimming gives a child permission to be playful in a safe and effective environment to strengthen motor functions. If you need a life vest, I recommend this one for added safety and comfort if your child is between 30 to 50 pounds (it’s coast-guard approved).
In our innovative world that is rapidly changing, technology is a game-changer to help a child soar.
Technology allows kids to perform daily activities that are non-verbal, have a speech disorder, or suffer from hearing loss.
Let’s explore several technology devices (also known as enabling devices) to help a child communicate and socialize.
A child with cerebral palsy may experience loss of hearing.
An assistive device, like a hearing aid, can benefit communication in numerous ways…
- Express emotions
- Increase vocabulary
- Gain confidence
Keep in mind these devices can be measured to fit and grow from an early age into adulthood.
Talk it over with your child’s eye doctor if this is something you’re interested in.
Eye Tracking Software
This type of device allows you to communicate through a controlled voice-generated software.
It allows kids to interact in numerous ways…
- Play computer games
- Go to school
- Express thoughts and feelings
A child with speech delays can become frustrated not being able to communicate their feelings and needs.
A communication board is a solution to help a child interact with those around them.
It’s a wonderful way to express yourself more freely without limitations.
Final Takeaway: Technology breaks barriers for a child to socialize, interact, and communicate
Whipping up delicious treats with your kiddo is a fun bonding activity to do together.
Allow your child to get involved with you as much as possible in the kitchen.
Begin your cooking session with designated “kid-friendly” utensils for them to use.
Set the tone for a fun cooking experience!
It’s OK to get a little messy and silly. 🙂
Final Takeaway: Cooking stimulates creativity teaching a child to develop their mental skills and motor functions. If you need safe kitchen utensils that are kid-friendly, I recommend the set below.
I want to wrap up by extending my gratitude to thank you for stopping by today!
If you have other activities to recommend, questions, or anything to add that I did not cover in this post, please feel free to comment below.
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→ Bonus Resource: Here are 15 of the most common and powerful therapy activities to treat kids with Cerebral Palsy (CP) ←
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