5 Ways to Use Bubbles to Promote Motor Development
Whether you’re blowing them, popping them, seeing who can blow the most, or simply watching them blow away with the wind, bubbles are a fan favorite for outside playtime with kiddos of all ages. Not only are bubbles fun, but they can also be great motivation for exercises to promote motor skill development in children. Do you have bubbles waiting outside to be played with? Go outside and grab them – let’s exercise and play!
Using bubbles is a great way to have a child sit still and practice their sitting balance. You can have them sit on the grass or challenge their balance more by having them sit on a pillow, bosu ball, or any surface that is wobbly, but safe. Challenge your child’s balance reactions by having them reach up, down, forward, and backward to pop the bubbles.
Positioning your child on all-fours (quadruped) is an excellent exercise for strengthening their core, shoulder stability, back, and hips. Think of it as a mini plank for your kiddo! Use cues such as pretending to be a dog or cat and tell them they have to pop the bubbles with one hand at a time. If your child is a little older, challenge them mentally with you calling out right hand or left hand to pop the bubbles with.
Having kids stomp on bubbles is a great challenge for working their balance on one foot. You can blow the bubbles low to the ground and have them stomp multiple bubbles, or you can catch the bubble on the wand, hold it low, and have them slowly raise one foot to stomp the bubble.
Many kids have trouble raising on to their tip toes and keeping their balance while doing it. Sometimes, if you place something (like bubbles!) just out of reach for your child will cue them to raise to their tip-toes. Make it a challenge and see how many they can pop while on their tip-toes before coming back down on their heels!
Jumping is a great task for your child to practice! Jumping helps strengthen all of your child’s lower body, and is also a developmental motor skill that physical therapy helps children achieve. You can cue your child to “bend your knees, and jump up high!”. Challenge them to pop at least 10 bubbles while jumping.
Meet the author of this post, Shelbi Moxley, PT! Shelbi is a licensed Physical Therapist at Pediatric Rehab at Easter Seals in Columbus, GA. She has been employed with HPRC since March 2020. Shelbi received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine in 2019, as well as her Bachelor of Exercise Science in 2015 from Columbus State University. Her primary practice interests include pediatrics and neuro rehabilitation. Shelbi is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). She resides in Columbus, GA where her hobbies include exercise and enjoying all the live music Columbus has to offer.