Core strength is developed in the muscles of the stomach and back and provides stabilisation for the body during all body movements. A strong core strength is the foundation from which children develop postural stability, balance, gross-motor and fine-motor skills. Children with weak core strength may have poor posture and endurance, and difficulties with balance, self-help skills, sitting upright in a chair, or moving on playground equipment.

There are many ways to help your child improve their core strength. Providing regular outdoor play is one of the best ways, as well as engaging in the following activities:

  • Tummy-time activities
  • Crawling over large cushions or through tunnels
  • Jumping – on trampolines, in and out of hoops, hopscotch
  • Wheelbarrow-walking
  • Swimming
  • Swings – pulling themselves forward
  • Riding a bike/scooter/ride-on toy
  • ‘Superman’ pose – lifting arms and legs up whilst lying on stomach
  • ‘Row-row-row your boat’ – and facilitated sit-ups
  • Sitting/bouncing on an exercise ball
  • Standing on a wobble board
  • Climbing on ladders/climbing frames
  • Playing on playground slides – sitting upright to slide down
  • Tug-of-war games
  • Kneeling or squatting to play
  • Monkey bars
  • Heavy work – pushing and pulling boxes or heavy toys around


Try introducing one or more of the activities into your child’s daily routine. Remember to keep the activities fun and provide lots of encouragement.

For more information on core-strength activities contact your physiotherapist or occupational therapist.