Setting attainable goals & letting kids bask in their own successes!

If you’ve ever watched a pediatric physical therapy session, you will often see us putting a toy or desired object just out of a child’s grasp so they are inspired to roll, crawl, walk, scoot, or reach for it. Setting up the environment this way helps us to encourage kids to utilize emerging motor skills and strengthen those skills while building confidence. When we set our environment up, we are always thinking about where the “goalpost” is and whether or not the goal we are setting is attainable for the child at that time. If it seems too hard, we have to adjust the height, distance, or surface where the toy is located so that the child we are working with is working hard but can still be successful!

Setting attainable goals is so important when kids are learning new skills because we want them to build confidence as they are building skill and we want them to enjoy practicing and learning. One way we see kids get really frustrated or discouraged when learning a new skill is when the goalpost is frequently changing as they are working to reach it. An example of the “changing goalpost” that often causes our kiddos to get upset is when they are a new walker, taking unsteady steps to reach mom, dad, or a toy, and who or what they are trying to get to keeps moving backward. We TOTALLY understand the desire to do this, it gets them to walk more, which is good right? While the easy answer would be “Yes, they are walking more”, it is more complex than this. While they are chasing the desired person or object, they are thinking “Gee, I only had to walk that short distance to mom when I started, and I definitely thought I could do this, but now she is getting farther and farther away, and I am getting tired. I don’t know if I can do this anymore.” Even though they definitely CAN do the skill for short distances, their confidence is then starting to decrease, and they may not want to try again because it takes SO MUCH effort to be successful. 

Don’t worry, this is a very easy fix! Say they are a new walker, have them start with a short distance first. Let them reach the object or person they are walking to and then let them play with the toy, hug mom or dad, and revel in the joy of their success with that mobility. Let them feel that joy for a few minutes while playing with the toy or hugging a parent. Then, once they have played for a short time, move the toy and redirect their attention to have them practice the skill again. Maybe even try to place the goalpost a little further next time, building on their ability as their confidence grows. Now they are learning that they can be successful with that motor skill, they are building confidence in it, while also learning that it is a new way of mobility they can use to reach things they want (a win, win, win)! Learning new motor skills takes a lot of patience, but overall the success your child will experience when moving and reaching each goal is worth the wait!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today, we are going to keep it short and sweet! We know you are all probably having a blast sharing sweet messages with friends and family and eating chocolate, but you know what else is fun?! Valentine’s Day themed exercises, that’s what!! So become the best Cupid you can be today and share the love with these five sweet moves:

  1. Big Hug Jumps- start with your feet next to each other, arms by your sides. Then jump your feet and arms out at the same time! Next, jump back in so that your feet are together and your arms are wrapped around you, aka you are giving yourself a BIG HUG! Repeat this move for 20 seconds!
  2. Open valentines messages- Stand with arms and legs squished together while you squat. Then, open one leg and same side arm until your arms make two right angles and your knees make two right angles, as in the picture below. Now close the box by bringing your arms and legs together in front of you again. Do this with the same leg and arm 3 more times. Repeat to the other side.
  3. Unwrap the chocolate – Start with your back on the ground, with your legs and arms curled into a little ball. Slowly open up your legs and arms, lowering your body slowly to the ground to “unwrap” all the chocolate you want to eat! Unwrap chocolates 10 times!
  4. Give out flowers – Give all of your loved ones pretty flowers on Valentine’s day with a lunge and sway. To do this move, stand with your feet wide and lean onto your right leg, bending your right knee. Then keep your weight on your right leg and straighten your knee while raising your arms to the sky. Pretend you are holding one beautiful flower in your hands as they move to the sky! Repeat this to the left side, then do the move 7 more times to each side!
  5. Cupid’s Bow – Last but not least, be the best Valentine’s Day Cupid you can be by stepping into a lunge with your right foot forward, hips facing sideways (Aka warrior II if you know Yoga – in the picture below). Put your hands, with two fists, next to each other with arms straight in front of your nose. Then pull your left arm back like you are trying to shoot an arrow from your Cupid’s Bow while bending your right knee. Repeat this move 5 more times on this side then 6 times with the left foot forward.  

Need a better visual for what these moves should look like? Go visit our KidPT TikTok @kidpt_nj , our instagram @kidpt , or our facebook page @kidptnj to see Dr. Ali’s demonstrations for each of these lovely moves! We hope you have a happy Valentine’s Day with lots of chocolate to make the heart smile!

If you’re reading this post, it is probably because you have a really little guy or girl at home and are curious about how they should be developing as they grow through their first year. There are many sources out there that say a lot of different things, and you might feel like some have SO MUCH information and some have too little. We wanted to write this blog post to give you a comprehensive list of motor milestones that we as Physical Therapists find important within a range of months. FYI, we like to give ranges of months because all babies are different and need different amounts of time to learn new movement skills. We feel for our parents out there and don’t like when strict benchmarks for each milestone cause you added stress. If your baby does not have all of these skills mastered when at the younger end of the range, don’t worry, they have time! With that said, here is a checklist that you can use to track which milestones you are seeing in your baby from month to month! 

1 – 3 months old

  • Lifting and holding head up while lying on tummy
  • Pushing up on forearms while lying on tummy (3 mo)
  • Able to move fists from closed to open
  • Able to bring hands to mouth
  • Moves legs and arms off of surface when excited

4 – 6 months old

  • Using hands to support self while sitting
  • Rolling from back to tummy and tummy to back
  • Reaching for nearby toys while on tummy
  • Pushing up to straighten arms and lift head while on tummy
  • Reaching both hands to play with feet while lying on back

7 – 9 months old

  • Sitting without support
  • Sitting and reaches for toys without falling
  • Moving from tummy or back into sitting
  • Starting to creep or crawl using alternating leg and arm movements
  • Showing greater stability in sitting
  • Turning head to visually track objects while sitting

10 – 12 months

  • Pulling to stand
  • Standing alone
  • Cruising along furniture
  • Taking several steps on their own
  • Moving in and out of different positions to explore environment and reach toys
  • Maintaining balance in sitting when throwing objects

If you want more specific milestone information for each month range, check us out on instagram @kidpt or on tiktok @kidpt_nj , where we upload informational posts and videos weekly regarding motor milestones and what to look for! You can also REPLY here to request a copy of our free report, “6 Keys to Gross Motor Development.” If you are currently concerned about your baby reaching motor milestones, come in for a free Discovery Visit where a Physical Therapist can screen your child and see if PT is the right option for you. 

If you know what Physical Therapists do, you know one of the big things we focus on are MUSCLES! I’m sure you have heard all about your glutes and your abdominal muscles, but there is one group of muscles you may not have heard that much about, because it gets a little neglected sometimes. These muscles are the ones that help you BREATHE! Yes, there is a whole group of muscles that help you breathe, and just like every other muscle in the body, they can be EXERCISED to improve strength, endurance, and control. Normally, you don’t have to think when you breathe, which is really awesome because if we did have to think, we would probably not have the brain power to do anything else. But when we do think about breathing, we can teach the muscles to work in new and more efficient ways. Once you do train these muscles to work better, they start working like that for automatic breathing too! We miss doing these types of exercises at the clinic because of COVID, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be done in a safe, COVID free home environment!

Now, you might be asking yourself, why does this matter? Well, if you notice your child becoming out of breath while trying to walk and talk at the same time, they might have difficulty keeping their breathing efficient while they are moving around. If your child frequently becomes quiet or holds their breath when trying difficult things, they may have trouble coordinating breathing with complex motor and cognitive tasks. If this sounds like your child, here are some exercises that may be helpful for training their muscles for breathing for greater efficiency:

  1. Sipping through the imaginary straw (Breathing IN through pursed lips): That motion your lips make right before blowing a bubble or drinking through a straw, when you push them very tight together, that is what pursing your lips looks like! Breathing in through pursed lips (the imaginary straw) increases the resistance you have to breathe against, which means that your diaphragm, the large muscle at the bottom of your lungs whose main job is breathing, can work toward getting STRONGER!
  2. Blowing BIG imaginary bubbles (Breathing OUT SLOWLY): This one has a similar idea, but instead of strength, it’s all about CONTROL! When your child breathes out SLOWLY, they have to control the speed at which their diaphragm is relaxing back to its normal resting shape. If you add counting to this as well, the task involves even more control and coordination because they then have to match the speed of their exhale to an external rhythm, which adds motor COORDINATION into the mix as well! If this is too hard, start with a small mouth, which will help decrease speed naturally due to increased resistance.
  3. Singing: Singing is AMAZING for COORDINATION and CONTROL of breathing. Someone who is singing has to match the timing of inhales and exhales to maximize how many words they can sing before taking each breath, which involves using breath control to prevent the air from leaving too quickly. All of these features are wonderful, not to mention that singing is so fun it has the power to bring a smile to anyone’s face!
  4. Diaphragmatic Breathing: Diaphragmatic breathing is always a favorite because it works on breathing control, as in some of the exercises listed above, but it also increases relaxation. For this one, have your child lie down on the ground with their hand over their tummy and make sure you can feel see belly move up and down with each breath. Tell them to fill their belly with air while they count for 5 seconds, hold that breath for 3 seconds, then exhale for another 5 seconds. Adding counting to your diaphragmatic breathing again adds an extra coordination component because it requires them to control the rate their breathing muscles contract and relax to an external rhythm. If the specific times listed seem too long, they can always be adjusted to fit your child’s current ability so that the exercise is appropriate for you. 

If you found this information interesting and believe these concepts may apply to your child, but would like a second opinion, come on over to KidPT for a consultation with one of our Physical Therapists! And remember, inhale, exhale, and you will go places!

Disclaimer: All information in this post is for educational purposes only. If looking for medical advice, seek a doctor or related healthcare provider.

We’re all back in the swing on school after a nice holiday break off! With the transition back to school comes a shift in priorities, back to classes and schoolwork, and we know all you want to do is set your child up for success in the new year! Many kids have trouble keeping their posture upright throughout the day, and good, supported posture is one of the key elements leading to good focus while in school. Though you might not be able to do much about this while they are in person, you can adapt their environment to support them while they are remote learning. Here are some things to look for and tips to get you started:

  1. When nice posture turns into not so nice posture
    1. If you see your child starting the day with nice posture but then see their spine taking on a C curvature throughout the day, they may be having a difficult time sustaining activation of their postural musculature and they may have trouble with ENDURANCE of these muscles. If this is the case, try placing a small towel roll behind their lower back for additional support when you see them starting to get tired. Then, when some time has passed, you can try removing it and seeing if their muscles have gotten the rest break they needed to work efficiently again!
  2. When nice posture is hard to find
    1. If you see that finding a nice, supported spine with good posture is hard for your child to figure out, they may have trouble ACTIVATING their postural musculature. This may be the case if when you have told your child “sit with nice posture” in the past, they assume a Military-esque posture that would be impossible and uncomfortable for anyone to maintain OR they simply can’t find that upright position you’ve seen in blogs and pictures. Often these kids have a pelvis that is tipped very far back and pushed away from the back of their chair. Try placing a small wedge under their pelvis, with the taller end close to the back of the chair and the shorter end toward the front of the chair. This wedge will help place them in a more appropriate position to learn how to activate their musculature, so that when you ask them to try “good posture” again, it isn’t such a big ask. 
  3. When they find many different slouched positions
    1. For the child that seems to never sit still but also never sit with supported posture, using a balance disk under their bottom is a great tool to encourage activation of postural musculature on both the front and back sides of their body. Sitting on a balance disk creates the need for the body to sit with active, supported posture to stay upright and on balance. If you are trying this, don’t forget to test it out with supervision to make sure that your child can stay on balance while sitting on the disk so that they do not fall out of their chair.
  4. Make sure they are supported by the floor
    1. This one is SO important. Many people don’t know how difficult it is to sit with supported posture if your feet are not flat on the ground. Using the ground can help activate your whole body from the feet upward and creates more stability in sitting because you are not just relying on your bottom to keep you upright (but your legs too)! A nice clue to look for to see if they are supported from the ground up is the presence of 90 degree angles at their ankles, knees, and hips, if you see these angles AND they are sitting upright, you are good to go!

Remember, it is hard for anyone to focus when they are having trouble staying on balance or trouble activating their muscles for the long virtual school day. But, with these tips you can have your child on the path to postural support while learning in no time! You got this parents!

If you liked these tips or want to watch the video for this post, click here:

Stressed about the challenges the new year will pose for your child with learning new skills and reaching new goals? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Here at KidPT, we’re here to help your child to reach and exceed their potential. Just like we use every tool at our disposal to help our kiddos become successful here in the clinic, we believe parents should be empowered to do the same at home! To help you to help your child on their path toward success, we’ve written down some helpful hacks and philosophies that we use in our PT sessions every day that you can start to implement at home: 

  1. Provide positive feedback for a job well done
    1. When you see your child is particularly good at something, or if you see them improving in an area they were previously less confident in, make sure to give them lots of positive reinforcement. This will help build their confidence! Confidence is a key driver to give them the agency to push themselves further and continue to reach new heights.
  2. Make sure feedback is specific
    1. For any feedback, whether it be positive or constructive, make sure you are letting your child know WHAT part of the task you are complimenting or wishing to tweak. A generic “Good Job” doesn’t give them the information they need to repeat the good thing they did or to adapt areas where they need more growth. A good example of specific feedback is “Nice job walking up the stairs using only one hand”, because you are telling them exactly what about the task they just did that you thought was stupendous, and then they know to do it again next time!
  3. Try breaking down challenging tasks
    1. For any task that is hard for your child, try breaking down the task and attempting to introduce small parts of it rather than having them try to achieve the whole task on their first go. Then continue to add on small parts until they have built up to the whole task. This concept is called “scaffolding” or “forward chaining” and is used by many teachers and therapists alike to set up a framework for new tasks to make them more attainable. Start with a part of the task the child has down, and build on that piece. If trying this with your child, make sure you demonstrate the whole task first, so they know what they are working toward. If you are not quite sure how to break down a certain task for success, ask your physical therapist where you should start, and we’ll be able to guide this process!
  4. Remember, everyone is different, and that is GOOD!
    1. Every single person on this earth is very different from the next, and that’s how the world was meant to be! Each individual person brings something new and diverse to the table, and this is how the world learns and grows. Your child’s strengths enhance this world and though they might have room to grow in other areas, so does the rest of the world!
  5. Breathe, you got this! 
    1. Don’t forget to take some time for yourself and to affirm to yourself that everything is going to be okay. Just by taking the time to be informed you are taking steps to supporting your child, and that is what is important.

You’ve got this, and so does your child, and together you can be a confidence boosting TEAM!

Happy New Year! We all know what ringing in the new year means, new goals and shiny aspirations! We all hope that with the shift into a new year, we will be able to do things we haven’t done before, reach new heights, and achieve our dreams. With all of our heads in the clouds, we also have to remember that 2020 was a difficult year for everyone and that even though 2021 is a new year, we should cut ourselves some slack and give ourselves more time to work toward our goals along with time to destress. We don’t want to put too much pressure on ourselves, and we don’t want our kids to do this either. For them the new year means a new semester and new topics at school, and they can feel just as much stress from this shift as we adults can! Here are four ways that you and your child can destress and center yourselves with movement for a more successful and calm transition to the new year:

  1. Diaphragmatic breathing – This activity can be helpful for anyone, of any age! Just lie on the ground or sit in a chair. Place one hand on your belly and make sure you are “belly breathing”, aka, make sure you can feel your tummy moving up and down every time you breathe. This way you know you are doing it correctly. You can stack your breathing by counting up to five, then down to five. Repeat the counting process about ten times to allow the body time to relax, the heart rate to slow down, and the nervous system to slow down with it!
  1. Heavy work activities – this one gives the body a sense of where it is, which works especially well for the kids who seem to physically be in one million places at once, touching everything, bouncing and jumping around, and having difficulty focusing on one task at a time. Heavy work activities can be done by pushing or pulling a loaded wheel barrow, carrying a full laundry basket, or helping stack heavy cans onto low shelves. (PS this is also a great way to get your child to help out with chores as well – its a win win!)
  1. Make the “Bubble” – This game uses similar principles as heavy work, and turns it into something fun and interactive you and your child can do together! First, have your child hold their hands in front of them with their palms facing each other. Then you put your hands on the outside of their hands with your palms touching the backs of their hands. Tell them to push out into your hands as hard as they can, and meet the resistance they are giving you (aka give them as much force as they are giving you). Count to 60 together while pushing with force, then slowly release their hands. Tell them to now slowly move their hands apart and together, but don’t change their hand position or let them touch their hands to each other. While they move their hands in and out slowly, it will feel like they are making a large bubble bigger and smaller right between their hands! When they’re ready to be finished with the bubble, tell them to POP it by clapping their hands together!
  1. Slow Rocking on an exercise ball – this activity uses the vestibular system (the little system of tubes and fluid in your ears that helps with balance, sensing the body in space, and understanding movement of the body through space). Lie on an exercise ball with the belly downward. The hands will touch the ground with every forward movement. Make sure the rocking is SLOW, if the rocking is too quick, it may have the opposite effect!

If you tried any of these strategies or if you would like more tips on how to stay calm and focused in the new year, email us at info@kidpt.com or message us on instagram @kidpt or facebook @kidptnj.

Are you ready for the ultimate New Year’s Countdown? Get ready to wiggle, jump, spin, and roll into the new year with these 10 awesome moves! For easier following along, click the link to the video at the bottom of this post 

10. Ball Drop Jumps – To do these jumps, bring both knees into your chest while jumping into the air. Then land with both feet on the ground (compare to cannon ball jumps). Now you are looking like the sparkliest, shiniest new years ball ever!

9. (Virtually) Calling Friends and Family – Stand with your feet out wide, lean into one knee, and waive your hand or make a “telephone hand” and bring it up to your ear to call friends and family to wish them a Happy New Year! Repeat this 9 times total, leaning to opposite sides each time to calling 9 important people in your life! 

8. Rising Apple Cider Bubbles – For this sweet move, crouch down until you are in a small ball close to the ground, with your hands touching the ground. Slowly wiggle your fingers and rise up until youre all the way on your tippy toes with your wiggly fingers in the air! Now you know what if feels like to be the bubbles in your Sparking Apple Cider! Repeat this one 8 times!

7. Confetti Squiggle Jumps – Jump in the air and wiggle your arms every which way to pretend you are kooky confetti, floating in all directions as it flies through the air

6. Clock Jumps – Point one toe forward to 12 o’clock on an imaginary clock on the floor. Then jump with your toe pointed to 1 o’clock, then 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock, and so on until you have jumped with one foot around the ENTIRE clock! Repeat with the other foot.

5. Logs on the fire – Start a warm fire by lying down on the ground on your back and roll to your tummy. Then roll to your back! To make it extra hard, try to not let your arms and legs touch the ground! Repeat this 5 more times (3 times to each side), to imagine yourself as your favorite new years treat!

4. Firework Jumping Jacks – Crack, pop, and sizzle as you do 4 jumping jacks and show off all your new years colors!

3. Globe Spins – Did you know that every time we celebrate a new year, the Earth has completed one full trip around the Sun? And every year, it takes 365 days for the Earth to complete this trip. Each day, the earth spins around one time! SO, as we spend the last days of 2020, thinking about 2021, the Earth is finishing its final spins for the year! Do 3 spins like the Earth does every day!

2. New Years Hugs – You’ve almost made it to 2021, give yourself two BIG hugs to show some appreciation to yourself for all the hard work you have done this year before the new year!

1. New Year Hooray Jumps – Do one star jump, where your legs and arms all jump outward at the same time. When you land, bring them back together. Don’t forget to shout “Hooray!”
Want to show us your New Year’s Countdown? Send us clips of you jumping your way through these moves! Email us at admin@kidpt.com or message us on Instagram or Facebook @kidPT and have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Many schools are going virtual until after the holidays, and we know what that means… more screen time. We’ve heard a pattern: many parents feel like it is hard for their child to stay engaged in their classroom activities when they are learning through a screen all day, and we hear ya, who wants to stare at a computer screen ALL DAY? Humans thrive through in person experiences, where they get to use every one of their senses, and this especially includes little humans!

Children are learning a high volume of information every day to make sense of their world and their ever changing environments. One great way to supply them with a lot of valuable information for learning and moving is to take them outside. Time outside will give them a break from the screen time and will give them the freedom and space to stretch their legs so they can move! Research says that kids can benefit from being outside for more than just a little fresh air, here are three of the amazing benefits of letting your kids immerse themselves in their outdoor world:

  1. Increased activity level: When kids are outside, they have so much SPACE to get their energy out! Many will want to jump, run, and move all around to explore their new and unfamiliar surroundings. This free exploration will let them work on those essential gross motor skills in a new and novel way. Maybe they want to jump in a pile of leaves, try to climb a tree, or run up and down a grassy hill (safely and with supervision of course)!
  1. Opportunity for new sensory stimulation: There are so many fun textures, colors, smells, and sounds at the park, in the woods, or at the beach. Playing in any of these places can be turned into a science exploration where kids can learn about why some leaves are waxy and some are soft while feeling it first hand, seeing what the little hairs on leaves look like and how tall they are, and hearing the sound from their fingers brushing a soft leaf compared to a waxy one. There are so many possibilities for learning in a sensorially engaging way!
  1. Reduces stress levels and improves attention: A walk in the park or a hike CAN boost your child’s attention, and this has been seen in both neurotypical children and children with ADHD. Even a short walk can do it, researchers discovered that as little as 20 minutes in the park significantly improved attention and cognitive performance (Faber Taylor & Kuo, 2009). Kids have also been seen to associate nature with words such as “calming” and “relaxing” when participating in programs requiring outdoor time (Chawla, Keena, Pevec, & Stanley, 2014).

We hope your family gets to spend some quality outdoor time this fall! We’d love to see pictures of you playing and having a blast out there, so tag @kidpt on Facebook or Instagram or email admin@kidpt.com of you getting your fresh air on!! Stay tuned next week for outdoor distanced activities to keep your kids entertained and moving with their friends in a safe way.

References: 

Faber Taylor, A., & Kuo, F. E. (2009). Children With Attention Deficits Concentrate Better After Walk in the Park. Journal of Attention Disorders, 12(5), 402–409. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054708323000

Louise Chawla, Kelly Keena, Illène Pevec, Emily Stanley. Green schoolyards as havens from stress and resources for resilience in childhood and adolescence. Health & Place, 2014; 28: 1 DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.03.001

We hope everyone had a very happy and safe thanksgiving, with lots of yummy food! One thing Thanksgiving always gets us thinking about is the holiday season and shopping for the best gifts that the kiddos in our lives will smile when opening!

Now, there are many kids these days who love screen time, video games, and everything electronic. Sometimes we hear parents saying “He loves the iPad” which is often followed with a statement about how worried they are that their child’s screen time is causing them to be less physically active and less interested in activities involving movement. First thing is first, if you’re reading this and nodding along, don’t worry, you are not alone! We are now in the technological age, and it is next to impossible to avoid screens. While it is important to limit screen time for a child who wants to use them 24/7, we can also use screens for movement!

Games involving screens are often very engaging, they involve a story line or a progression, many involve reaching goals and checkpoints, and usually very colorful. Studies show that when a child is engaged in an activity, their whole brain lights up, meaning their whole brain is being used and worked to complete a task and not just a small part of the brain. This means they are getting more out of the activity they are doing and making many connections in the brain! 

So, if you want to engage your video game lover in an activity that will keep their attention but also will make them move, try a game that combines movement with a screen. Don’t get us wrong, screens ALL the time is not what we are advocating for here, but using something your child loves to make movement seem more valuable to them might save you a few headaches here and there.

Here is a list of games that your little gamer is sure to love:

  1. Ring Fit Adventure on the Nintendo Switch: If you have a Switch, Ring Fit is an amazing game that makes the player use a pilates ring to strengthen their arms and legs while also squatting, running in place, and performing other great strengthening movements. It also does all of this while either taking the player through a virtual adventure or letting them play many mini games that rank score and performance! 

Find out more here: https://ringfitadventure.nintendo.com/

  1. BoBo balance disk on the Ipad: The Bobo uses a wobbly balance disk and pairs with the ipad to show the player what their feet are doing in a variety of fun games that challenge balance on two feet or one foot! Use the discount Bobo30 at checkout for 30% off!

Find out more here: https://bobo-balance.com/

  1. Just Dance: This is a great game that has been around for a while and is so lively and fun. Multiple players can dance at a time, and it uses current pop music to get every member of the family moving and grooving! It is compatible with many different types of game systems, including the Switch, Wii, Xbox360, Xbox One, and newer versions of playstation.

Find out more here: https://www.ubisoft.com/en-us/game/just-dance/2021

  1. Arms: Arms is a futuristic boxing game made for Nintendo Switch that has players boxing with very colorful and creative characters, and though it was not originally designed as a fitness game, it will make each player work! Tip for this one, kids who know how to switch the controls to let them play without physically boxing might do so, so watch out for this and encourage them to play standing to get them working.

Find out more here: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/arms-switch/

  1. Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved: This is a game that would be perfect for any music or disney lover who is a little bit on the older end. The player controls or conducts music with their hand motions, and this music includes pop and classical symphonies. This game is great for coordination of hand and arm movement and is compatible with Xbox360 or XboxOne

Find out more here: https://www.amazon.com/Disney-Fantasia-Music-Evolved-Xbox-One/dp/B00KVLPNL4

  1. Beat Sabre: If your child is SUPER techy and you are planning on buying something like a virtual reality system as a holiday gift, then this game is a perfect addition that will keep your child moving while they figure out all of that new tech! This game has the player slicing through different shapes to a particular beat, with many directional changes and varied difficulties. The combination of music, movement, and changes in direction are great for working on coordination of the whole body while having a blast!

Find out more here: https://beatsaber.com/

  1. Pokemon GO: Pokemon GO is a free app your child can download onto apple devices that requires them to walk around and explore the great outdoors to find Pokemon, grow and hatch eggs, and battle with other players. Time outdoors has been shown to improve attention and decrease stress level. It is definitely smart to supervise younger children while they are out and about playing this one, because you never know where a pokemon is going to turn up, and you want to make sure they’re being safe at all times!

Find out more here: https://www.pokemongo.com/en-us/

  1. Just Dance Now: This app pairs a phone with an internet connected device, like a computer, and uses the phone as a handheld controller to sense the players’ dance moves. This game, like other Just Dance platforms, is dancing fun for the whole family, and you can use devices you already own to play it!

Find out more here: https://justdancenow.com/

  1. Zombies, Run! This game inspires players to KEEP RUNNING as they are the lead in a zombie narrative, and are trying to stay alive! This game is great for any child who loves adventure and is most appropriate for children who are 12 years old and older due to content and activity level.

Find out more here: https://zombiesrungame.com/

  1. GoNoodle: Go noodle is a database of movement videos and activities that are designed for fun movement that works the brain AND the body and are used within many Kindergarten to 5th grade classroom environments as brain breaks. Parents can create an account that has a “Champ”, an avatar that grows as children earn points through completing activities, which helps with long term engagement too! 

Find out more here: https://www.gonoodle.com/

Have fun moving together and if you find more movement games please share them with the Kid PT community!