Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Therapy Thursday: Backyard Obstacle Course


While I was setting up an obstacle course in our backyard for the boys using many of the activities I have observed the children participate in during their various therapies, it came to me.  I could share about this on my blog.  (Any of my fellow bloggers relate?)  And wouldn't it be fun to have a theme about Therapy Thursday?  Each week I will post about some type of therapy we use, who recommended it, and the reason we are using it.  Remember, I am not a licensed therapist and I am sharing our experiences.    

Backyard Obstacle Course

Here's how our obstacle course went:

1.  Scooter board on your belly across the deck.  

2.  Jump off the deck.  Then roll the large inflatable ball up the hill.

3.  Jump on the mini-trampoline while counting to 5.

4.  Crawl through the tunnel while pushing the basketball.

5.  Try to throw the frisbees inside the hula hoop.

6.  Walk across the balance discs.

7.  Go to the swing.  Lie on your belly and swing for a count of 5.  (Unless your name is Johnathan.  In that case you will spin for a count a 5.  Don't forget to also spin in the opposite direction for the same amount of time.)

8.  Place the purple stretchy sensory band around your ankles and jump over the sticks (with both feet together).  I laid out 4 sticks.

9.  Try to blow up a balloon.  This one was hilarious.  None of the kids were able to blow up the balloon, but it certainly wasn't for lack of trying.  Johnathan was concentrating so hard he had to sit down. *chuckle*


10.  Walk down the stairs and touch the cone.

The kids each did this a couple of times, then they helped clean up.  Most of the activities in this obstacle course were for balance and coordination, and also to help with sensory regulation.  Our boys all have sensory processing disorder, or SPD.  "A person with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks."   Read more here at the SPD Foundation.  Want to find out if your child has SPD?  Here is a checklist.  Our boys see Occupational Therapists (or OT's) twice a month.  The role of the OT is to improve the client's ability to perform tasks in their daily living and working environments.  We work closely with our boys' therapists so we can carry-over what they are working on at home.  The more practice, the better.

Has your child been in any type of therapy (occupational, physical, speech, behavior, social skills, etc.)?  Was it helpful?  Why or why not?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through one of those links it will not change the cost of the item, however it will help support our homeschool.  Thank you!

Now it's your turn to share something helpful you have learned in therapy with your child.  Feel free to copy/paste the Therapy Thursday logo into your post.  I only ask that you provide a link back.  Have fun with it!


  1. Oh my goodness we lived in therapies for 10 years without a break! OT, PT, Speech, 2-3 days a week for 10 years, for 2 boys. The stories we could share! I have never, ever thought about doing an obstacle course like you did but I think that it's BRILLIANT! Even as old as my guys are now, they still might go for something like that... I will have to think on this a bit. ;)
    What I really want? One of those big platform therapy swings! But the kids probably wouldn't want to share it with me. LOL

    1. Dawn,
      My husband actually built a platform swing (& we used to have it hanging in our front room). One of these days I will have to post pictures. I think I also have a video of him on it with the kids!

  2. OK so it helps if I pay attention to what you asked. Therapies, helpful? YES. Without speech, my son probably would never have been able to speak actual words, then later would never had been able to speak words people could UNDERSTAND. OT? My sensory seeker with multiple sensitities/desensitivies thrived on OT. He also went through the ALERT program twice and it was very helpful for self-awareness of his states of activity and attention. PT was what saved my other son and helped him learn to ride a bike (when he was 9!) I think anyone who wants to go into ST, OT or PT to work with kids has to have a heart of gold, nerves of steel, patience of the saints, and I love them!! :)

    1. We have weekly therapy appointments with all 3 boys and have for the last 7 years. BUT they have helped me understand so much! I now have a lot of my own tools as a parent to be able to help our children. Sometimes I even find myself giving advice. :)
      Thanks for sharing about your boys! I have never heard of the ALERT program. I may have to look into it. Was it through an OT?

  3. Oh, these are GREAT ideas! LOVE obstacle courses! Visiting from Family Connections.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I even let the kids help me plan the obstacle course for added fun.

  4. Thanks for linking to the Family Connections Blog hop. What good ideas. I like the band around the legs/jumping idea a lot!

    Have a great weekend,
    Amy @ Missional Mama

    1. I checked out your blog...another fellow adoptive mama! Awesome!
      The band around the leg/jumping was a tricky one for our boys, but great for balance and coordination.

  5. This is such a great idea!! I love this concept - while my girls don't have sensory issues, they have a LOT of energy!! Thanks so much for linking up with the Summer Connections blog hop!

    1. Thank you for hosting the Summer Connections blog hop and for stopping by. So true, really this idea can be used for ANY children!


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