Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Parent's Guide To DIY Therapy Equipment

Therapy equipment can be expensive.  Having a child with special needs can require a parent to purchase many of these items to properly help their child.  Some of these things can be created yourself with things around your house or a simple purchase.

Adeline has been walking for about 6 months and we are trying to work on her gait and balance.  We created this simple balance beam.  We purchased this 10 inch wide piece of wood from Lowe's.  For the first few days we just layed it on the floor to help Adeline get use to walking on it.  Today I put a few plastic boxes under it.  She walked ever so carefully, but she enjoyed the challenge.  She would not even let me hold her hand!  Later as her balance improves we will practice throwing bean bags while standing on the beam.

Did you ever play tetterball on the playground when you where a kid?  This beach ball on a string reminds me of that game.  We hung a hook in a doorway and added a beach ball on a string.  Adeline really enjoys hitting the ball.  She plays this by herself  or with someone else.  This activity is a great gross motor activity.  It also strengthen her vision.

Our crib mattress is one of our favorite therapy type items.  We use it to jump and bounce on.  We also stack it to make climbing inclines.

The last of our home DIY favorites is a strong sheet or blanket.  We make the sheet into a swing.  This requires two people one on each end.  We rock Adeline back and forth.  This is great for the vestibular
system.  It is also a workout for me.


  1. these activities look so much fun, especially the sheet. I think I might try that with Goblin. He doesn't need it for therapy but I think he'd love it anyway. great post, I'm sharing on my FB page.

  2. Thanks for stopping by. The sheet is great fun, truthfully we do it with all our kids, they love it.

  3. I love this post! Thanks so much for sharing great and simple ideas. Pinned! Kristi

  4. LOVE!!! Going to share on my page!!


  5. Katie would love all these things (well, the beam will have to wait a few months; she is standing on her own now but not walking yet). How did you get a string attached to the beach ball? That would be wonderful for helping Katie be more sure on her feet before taking her first steps.

  6. And you can cut the wood smaller and smaller as Adeline builds her walking skills. We are now using a 7 inch board with Olivia. We call it "the plank". I haven't elevated it yet. It is still on the floor, but once she gets better at it, I will elevate it.

    And yes, I second My Little Wonders, HOW did you get a string attached to a beach ball?? :)

  7. We attached the string by putting it through the loop that is made by the "cork".
    I didn't think it would work and I told my husband we needed to use duct tape, but he was right it has not sprung open yet and my big kids have been really wacking it.

  8. Great post! I will have to try some of these activities with Ellie :)

  9. You have some great ideas here. I am wondering if you can share my FAcebook page: The Recycling Occupational Therapist and my book which is now on Amazon....From Rattles to Writing: A Parent's Guide to Hand Skills.There's lots of sensory motor ideas for parents of kids who are typically developing or have challenges....

  10. Great post and I believe these tips would benefit typically developing children as well, especially children enrolled in full-day daycare. We are prohibited by DPW regulations and STARS guidelines, and insurance to do these activities or improvise our own equipment, but parents could provide these experiences at home and help their child fully develop their sensory systems. I'm repinning this.

  11. By the way, I love the header and empowering tone of your blog. I'm an early childhood educator and with all this accountability business more and more teachers are focusing on developmental deficits and problems. Teacher are paying more attention to what children cannot do YET instead of working through the abilities, strengths and interests children possess in the present moment to promote development at the child's pace rather than catching up to profile/checklist demands. Thank you for posting your positive and accepting story of your own gifted children.

  12. Wow! What a terrific blog. If you don't mind, I'd like to include your blog as a resource for a talk I'm doing at a Homeschool Conference in Alabama about teaching your special needs preschoolers at home. I just wrote a book called "The Homegrown Preschooler" that was writing with my special needs son in mind. I really appreciate you for encouraging parents to make their home a therapy rich environment.
    Lesli Richards

  13. Thanks for sharing great thought,I appreciate your work
    must visit

    Handling Emotions
    managing your emotions


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