The rockwall is one of our favorite tools here at Connect. It’s the perfect addition to our obstacle courses to help improve:
🌈 Motor planning and coordination of the hands and feet. FUN FACT: Going down the rockwall is often the trickier part of the task!
🌈 Strength and endurance of the big and small muscles.
🌈 Visual-spatial and visual perceptual skills. The eyes work hard to tell the brain where the hands and feet need to be while on the rock wall.
The rock wall is also great for sensory processing. It provides proprioceptive input, otherwise known as heavy work, to help calm and organize the nervous system before, during, and after therapy.
We love seeing our clients transform into butterflies, superman, and even little hatching chicks as they use their creativity to interact with the lycra swing! The lycra swing is an awesome tool to promote:
🌀 Sensory processing → The swing conforms to the body as kids get cozy and swing back and forth to provide both calming proprioceptive input and vestibular input.
🌀 Motor planning and body awareness → Getting into this swing is no easy task. Kids are challenged to think about how they can most effectively use their bodies to safely get in and move about the swing.
🌀 Extensor strengthening → Kids and adults alike spend most of their day in a flexed position, especially when using phones, tablets, or computers. Pretending to be superman (lying on your belly) in the lycra swing is great for strengthening the neck and back muscles that get stretched throughout the day.
We love to see kids sit, stand, kneel, and lie down on the platform swing to practice dynamic balance, core strengthening, and body awareness. The platform swing is also great for practicing the motor planning skills for propelling a real swing at the playground, which is one of the best occupations to learn as a kid! Sometimes, getting on a swing can be scary. The platform swing provides a large, stable surface that can be lowered close to the ground to help overcome gravitational insecurity and improve vestibular sensory processing.
The sit and spin is a tried and true toy we love having at the clinic. It’s great for postural control and grip strength and provides the perfect introduction to increased vestibular input if swinging is a scary task. Both little and big kids run towards the sit and spin for a brain break, and it’s a great tool to have at home for regulation and calming input.
This spinning board is a challenge our kids at Connect love to take on. Equipped with a tilt and a rotating wheel, this tool is perfect for working on:
🌟 Balance and compensatory movements → Finding and keeping your balance on the tilt board is the key to this challenge!
🌟 Proximal stability → Kids have to activate their core muscles to remain upright on the tilt board, improving proximal stability with every attempt.
🌟 Pacing → The tilt board is a great way to help slow down the body and practice appropriate speed during an exciting obstacle course.
Our lego wall is usually the first thing kids ask mom or dad to build at home. We love the lego wall for many reasons, but here are a few of the benefits that come from playing with legos in a new way:
🌈 Shoulder girdle strength → Raising and keeping the shoulder up to push the legos into place helps strengthen the muscles around the shoulder, important for handwriting, cutting with scissors, and many other fine motor tasks.
🌈 Fine motor precision and coordination → Using those little fingers to choose, move, place, and push legos onto the wall is great for improving fine motor skills.
🌈 Pretend play and creativity → We love seeing kids use the lego wall to expand pretend play schemes and express creativity, especially with peers!
The lycra hammocks are a crowd favorite here at Connect. Kids willingly take on this climbing challenge and love the thrill of reaching the top hammock covered in stars! The lycra hammocks are awesome for:
🌀 Peer play → We love pairing similar-aged peers to navigate the hammocks together, building both communication and body awareness skills to keep themselves and others safe during the climb.
🌀 Motor planning and coordination → Climbing up and down the hammocks requires a lot of planning movements and coordinating body parts, to ensure a safe and efficient adventure!
The monkey bars are a hidden gem in our gym playset. Kids are so excited to try the monkey bars, and it’s often the first challenge they learn to master here at Connect! Here are some of the major skills a child can develop while attempting the monkey bars:
🙈 Visual perceptual skills → It takes a great amount of hand-eye coordination, in addition to endurance, and upper body and core strength, to move across the monkey bars swiftly.
🙉 Social-emotional skills → Getting across the monkey bars is a huge milestone for kids. Developing a positive attitude toward challenges and being okay with trying things multiple times before accomplishing them, are valuable, transferable skills that kids learn while attempting the monkey bars.
Our trampoline is featured in almost every obstacle course we make here at Connect. It is often the first thing kids run to once arriving at the clinic to get their wiggles out, and there are so many benefits that go along with this favorite piece of equipment:
🌟 Improving bilateral coordination → There are so many ways to jump! Up and down, side to side, front to back, and many more. Jumping in all directions or using both sides of the body together, are great ways to practice bilateral coordination.
🌟 Regulating our sensory seekers → Is your kid always on the move and bouncing from one place to the next? The trampoline provides both vestibular and proprioceptive input to help regulate the nervous system, while getting the movement input they are craving.
Here at Connect, you can find multiple balance beams in each room. Balance beams, and other balance tasks, are often incorporated into sessions to work on:
🌀 Vestibular processing → Balance challenges teach kids how to use the information their brain is receiving to help their body stay balanced, contributing to a well-rounded sensory system.
🌀 Dynamic balance → Maintaining balance while moving is no easy feat! Walking the balance beam develops a child’s understanding of their body’s center of gravity and how to adjust when our center of gravity is off balance.
🌀 Coordination and concentration → While balancing, kids have to use their best focus to stay balanced while considering how they can move their feet to keep both of them on the balance beam.
The trapeze swing is a novelty tool that brings excitement and creativity to every session. Whether swinging, spinning, or pulling themselves up, there are so many great ways kids can use the trapeze swing to improve:
🌈 Sensory processing and self-regulation → What’s better heavy work than keeping up the weight of your whole body? The trapeze swing can be used for extra proprioceptive input to help calm and organize the nervous system. We also love putting shaving cream on the mats below the trapeze swing for some messy play!
🌈 Upper body strength and endurance → Holding yourself up on the trapeze swing is a great workout for the upper body, challenging both strength and endurance.