Fine Motor Activities
While sitting across from your child, make faces that your child can imitate. Touch your nose, stick out your tongue, make funny faces, or wave. If your child makes a face or a sound, copy them. This is a great way to work on social skills.
Gross Motor Activities
Caregivers can provide quality vestibular input on the playground. The back and forth motion in the sagittal plane provides great linear input, which can be very beneficial for children with sensory integration/processing issues.
This can be a great way to help children with significant vestibular defensiveness that are afraid of swinging since the parent is right there and the child can see that they are along for the ride as well. Parents can even hold a hand of the child and tell the child they are safe as they are working on continuing to swing.
Parents can work on postural control by asking child to reach for simple toy in multiple directions while swinging, throwing a ball to parent while swinging.
Language & Cognition Activities
While your child is playing on this equipment, you can model words such as “swing”, “fast/slow”, “come here/go back”, “push/pull”, “more”, “stop/go”.
If your child is non-verbal, you can model signs or gestures to elicit a request.
You can target joint attention and following directions by having the child attempt to imitate facial expressions (happy, sad, surprised, making raspberries, sticking out tongue). You can sing songs with child such as Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Happy and You Know it, or target early academic skills (ABC’s, counting).