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All Posts in Category: Parents and Carers

Summer holiday games that exercise the mind and body.

As the school holidays approach some parents might be thinking that 6 weeks is rather a long time to keep their kids entertained. Here are some quick ideas for primary school aged children that not only exercise their body, but with a bit of imagination, exercise their mind too.

1. Wheelbarrow races. Remember these? We did them as children, before more complex and technology based games came along.

Tip: For younger children or those that may be struggling with making the distance, hold onto closer to the hips. For those that like a challenge, hold closer to the knees.

Physio tip: As with all new activities, first time supervision/assistance is a good idea. Watch out if it looks too difficult for your child, or if they experience any pain, stop. Also if you notice difficulty in keeping their bottom up, or sagging between the shoulders, your child may have poor core strength. Poor core strength can lead to back pain, postural abnormalities and impact their ability to excel in sport/gross motor activities. See your paediatric physiotherapist if concerned.

2. Hopscotch. Using chalk on the driveway (or shaving cream on the lawn) draw out your hopscotch course, making it as difficult or as easy as you like to suit the child. Use a beanbag to toss in and decide which square to skip, or write in numbers and use  dice.

Tip: For a bit of brain work, ask your child to devise their own course.

Physio tip: By 5 years old,  children should be able to hop repeatedly and with reasonable balance on either leg. (And if not, should be able to get there with practise.) If your child has difficulty on either leg, it’s a good idea to start practising! If you are concerned about their ability to hop or jump, it might be a good idea to consult your paediatric physiotherapist.

3. Play-ground obstacle course. This can be for any age. As you can get the children/adolescents to make up the course. In fact, I’ve seen some adults do this in personal training sessions!

Tip: If you are devising the course, it’s a good idea to watch your child/children play around the playground first so you get an idea of their ability. Please keep in mind to set reasonable ‘obstacles’. Younger children will lose interest quickly if something that is too challenging and make sure that if an older child is setting the course that it is safe for the younger ones too.

Physio tip: Gross motor activities such as climbing, crawling and navigating awkward obstacles requires balance, co-ordination, strength, flexibility, spatial awareness and sequencing. These are all important components to your child’s ongoing gross motor development, and it’s important that they have the opportunity to develop these skills. Activities such as these, under your watchful eye, can help highlight any gross motor dysfunction before it becomes a real issue.

4. Backyard basketball, soccer, cricket. These activities are great at any age, as rules can be adjusted to suit. Basketball is great for hand-eye co-ordination and bilateral (between left and right) co-ordination if you challenge your child to try dribbling/passing with either hand. Soccer is great for eye-foot co-ordination and balance, again encourage them to kick/pass/block with either foot. Cricket is also good for hand-eye co-ordination, bilateral hand/arm co-ordination, sequencing and timing, speed and agility.

Tip: it’s alway more fun to work with a goal, whether it be a drawn on circle on the garage door (if you don’t have a basketball hoop), buckets used to mark a soccer goal, or the garbage bin as the wicket.

Physio tip: Having friends over is a great way to make this more fun. Just keep in mind that each child is an individual and even if they are the same age, they skills are most likely to be a little different. If you are concerned that the gap may be too big (assuming that the other child isn’t a Michael Jordan/David Beckham/Michael Clarke in the making!) try a little encouragement and practise. If you’re still concerned it may be time to see a paediatric physiotherapist.

General tip: If the weather outside is not suitable, most of these activities can be modified to safely do indoors.

It is well known that physical activity is great for stimulating children’s ability to learn and to positively affect academic performance. So what are you waiting for? Get your kids out there!



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Paediatric Physiotherapy in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne

Finding a paediatric physiotherapy for your child is only a phone call away.

Here at stepping forward therapy services. We have staff with over 10 years of experience in looking after your children.

From paediatrician referrals for specific conditions to getting an opinion about a concern you have for your child, we have the expertise you are looking for.

Our staff also have experience with communicating with the major children’s hosiptals, large disability providers and government bodies.

If you have any concerns contact us on 9899 4004.



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Medicare as a source of therapy funding

Under the medicare system, your child may be able to qualify for up to five physiotherapy visits a year.

To find out whether your qualify, you must ask your G.P. to see firstly whether your child is eligible.

Secondly if your child qualifies, you have to provide your G.P. with our details.

Once all the paperwork is done, let our staff know.

We will set up a receipt after your consultation that has all the relevant information for you to get a rebate back from medicare.

Unfortunately at stepping forward therapy services we do not bulk bill.

Contact us if you would like more information.

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What to do if you’re not sure about your child’s development

Your child goes through many growth spurts and developmental milestones early in life.

While a lot of the time, there is nothing serious, but sometimes if there is something that you pick up that you’re unsure of, our physiotherapists can help.

Knowledgeable in normal time frames of development and experience in assessment, our physiotherapists are able to diagnose and treat problems.

Remember, the earlier the intervention the more successful the outcome.

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Funding Sources for physiotherapy

Funding for physiotherapy treatment does not stop at the school or your pocket.

For more complicated and involved cases, there are many other avenues of funding we can make use of.

Our physiotherapists have the knowledge of government and non government resources to help with not only funding for physiotherapy treatment, but of equipment, aids and school treatments.

Not everyone is eligible for funding, so talk to our physiotherapist first.

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