Developing good upper body strength is important for mobility, fine motor skills, and self- help skills. Good postural stability in the trunk, shoulder and pelvic girdles will enable your child to have better control when using their hands to grasp and manipulate objects.

Try the following activities with your child to help develop their upper body strength:

  • Tummy time – lying on the tummy is an important position for developing head and trunk control and strength. Place favourite toys in front to encourage your child to look up and push up onto their hands.
  • Crawling – Crawling is beneficial for both infants and older children. Set up obstacle courses with tunnels and cushions. Both ‘commando’ style crawling on their tummy, and on hands and knees are beneficial.
  • Climbing – Explore a range of climbing equipment in the playground; including slides, climbing walls, and ladders.
  • Pulling and pushing – Have your child push and pull heavy carts or boxes around. Play tug-of-war games.
  • Carry heavy objects – Have your child carry buckets of water or sand and large toys around. Build towers by stacking cardboard boxes.
  • Walking on hands – Play wheelbarrows with your child walking on their hands with their feet supported. Pretend to be different animals walking on their hands such as bears, elephants, crabs.
  • Swings – Explore a range of swings in the playground including platform swings, and trapeze swings.
  • Ball games – Play ball games using different sized balls to throw and catch.
  • Painting and drawing – Do finger painting and drawing on large easels or vertical walls.