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All I Want for Christmas is a Cardboard Box

Posted on: December 21st, 2018 by Calgary Youth Physiotherapy No Comments

Cardboard box ChristmasDear Santa, I’ve been a good kid all year. All I want for Christmas is a cardboard box.

Funny…because it’s true.

How many parents have cursed their little one through muffled laughter as they forgo the shiny new toy for its simpler companion box? So common a practice, the National Toy Hall of Fame includes the humble cardboard box in its collection. Inducted in 2005, the Toy Hall of Fame praises the box for its inherent possibilities and the ability to recycle them into innumerable playthings. Best of all boxes are easily accessible, free of expensive batteries, annoying songs and voices telling a child what to do. A box can inspire imagination and promote gross motor skill development.

A healthy mind is as important to overall wellbeing as physical health. Thinking inside and outside of a box (metaphor aside) is a great way to stimulate a child’s imagination and encourage spontaneous, unstructured play. A box transformed into a rocket ship, secret fort, or teddy bear train teaches a child that there is more than one way to look at things. It allows children to explore imaginary places in their minds and reinforces the idea that things can go their own way sometimes too.

Boxes are also a great tool for building gross motor skills. Little people need to spend lots of time each day using the large muscles in their arms, legs and trunk (core). Physical gross motor skills require movement of the whole body to perform everyday functions such as standing, walking, running and sitting upright. These skills become important for everyday tasks and self-care. For example, we need core strength and balance to put on pants while standing and upper body support to sit at a school desk. Hand-eye coordination is also a part of gross motor development. Skills such as throwing, catching or kicking a ball are important for playground games and sports activities.

For infants and toddlers, a box is a wonderful object to explore. Crawling through cardboard tunnels, stepping in and out, pushing them around the house, even opening and closing flaps engage muscles and encourage motor control. Older children will enjoy more elaborate creations and revel in infinite box potential. Obstacles courses, stair slides, jumping ship to ship on the lava floor or stacking and building playhouses are all great games that are vital to the healthy development of their bodies and minds.

Remember, there is no right way or wrong way to play with a box. That is part of the charm. In a child’s mind, anything is possible, and the box can be manipulated to fit whatever game they choose to play. As children get older and their ideas get bigger, they may ask for help to paint, draw or cutout shapes – until then, parents should resist the urge to take the driver seat and give little people the opportunity to create, imagine and move free of a suggested result.

So, if Santa scores the highly sought-after holiday toy and its buddy box proves to be favourite, don’t be discouraged. Let the playing proceed freely – who knows that simple piece of cardboard could be the catalyst for a life of sports, a career in architecture or trip to space!

Should Parents Reward for Good Grades?

Posted on: October 1st, 2018 by jdcadmin No Comments

How is your child rewarded for performance? Read this article about rewarding you child for the work completed rather than the grade they achieved.

Read about it here on the Washington Post.

 

Active For Life

Posted on: April 10th, 2018 by Calgary Youth Physiotherapy No Comments

Lifelong activity is so important for healthy living. Learn how to raise physically literature kids.

Read more at activeforlife.com

Developmental Coordination Disorder

Posted on: February 8th, 2018 by Calgary Youth Physiotherapy No Comments

Do you think your child has coordination or motor planning challenges? Read this interesting article on Developmental Coordination Disorder to find out more….

https://canchild.ca/en/diagnoses/developmental-coordination-disorder

What is scoliosis?

Posted on: January 11th, 2018 by Calgary Youth Physiotherapy No Comments

From Children’s Hospital Colarado, this patient and family-friendly video explains the condition, what patients can do about it and treatment options.

Although physiotherapy is not proven to affect the outcome of your curve, it can be very effective in maintaining good spine flexibility, postural awareness, and core strength!

Indoor Play Places in Calgary

Posted on: December 13th, 2017 by Calgary Youth Physiotherapy No Comments

Indoor playExercise year round is important for your child. See why below!

Also, see where you can find an indoor play place in Calgary for those frosty snowy days.

http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/exercise.html

Adapted Physical Activity in Alberta

Posted on: November 27th, 2017 by Calgary Youth Physiotherapy No Comments

Is your child looking for a recreational activity but having difficulty because of his or her special needs?  Check out this list of recreational adaptive activities for the Calgary area!  This list is especially helpful as the activities are categorized by age for easier reference!

Keeping Your Child Active this Winter

Posted on: November 23rd, 2017 by Calgary Youth Physiotherapy No Comments

Winter Play for Children in Calgary

WINTER…

GETTING YOUR CHILD STRONGER BY THE DAY WITH WINTER PLAY

…How to help your child have fun and make good gross motor gains over the winter months.

As winter comes upon us, and as the cold weather hits, a general desire to “cocoon” ourselves and our children presides. There is an easy contentedness that comes with staying indoors, sipping warm drinks, and thinking about the holiday season. Thoughts of getting yourself and your little one out for exercise can be dominated by the realities of heavy snowsuits, winter boots, icy roads, and getting a forever growing toddler in and out of a car seat. Just trying to get out of the house can become a major sweat fest for everyone involved!

Despite these challenges, we must remember that it is important for everyone’s mental and physical health to move, and socialize with others. Social play in a gross motor setting is great for our little ones, and watching them have fun while developing their gross motor skills can be very relaxing for us too! So, when outdoor play is not an option, how think about creating an environment for gross motor and social play in your life over the winter? Here are some suggestions:

STAYING IN…

Consider creating a gross motor play area in your home. This need not be an expensive prospect.

  • Soft springy low mattresses and old pillows provide cushioned and uneven surfaces to climb on and encourage balance, strength and jumping.
  • Balls or stuffed animals are good objects for rolling and for starting preliminary throwing and catching and kicking.
  • Cardboard boxes are great for climbing into and out of and make great “trains” to push or pull around. This promotes general balanced and core (trunk) strength.
  • Old sheets can be made into tents and forts, again good for climbing into and out of. They can also be used for makeshift parachute games to develop balance and arm strength.
  • Mount black boards, white boards, or rolls of paper to the wall and provide art materials. Pulling to stand and standing with wall support only is nice for hip strength and a great pre-walking exercise.
  • Ensure that there are no sharp corners near the area, or cover them with dense foam or another protective material.
  • Remove expensive lamps or vases from the area, as they are sure to become victims of the good fun!
  • Play lots of music that you enjoy and that you think your child might enjoy. Music has a way of making us want to move!
  • Invite another parent and toddler over, and make your own social event!

GETTING OUT…

If you are one of the brave souls willing to load the kids up into the car, snowsuits and all, there are lots of non-programmed destinations you can head to that are warm and that provide an area to move or run when our homes start to feel very small and cramped. Some suggestions are:

  • Find a warm pool. Some suggestions that I have heard parents mention are VRRI, and Killarney. If you have any other locations to suggest, please share it with other parents in your class.
  • Indoor malls are a nice place to stroll, walk, and they sometimes have play places for your child during the winter months.
  • Many private businesses now cater to parents and their children by offering a play space for children, and a somewhat social setting for parents to have coffee, etc. Usually these settings offer low climbing structures, mats, balls, and riding toys that are all attractive to children and give the child a chance to encounter new toys that you may not have in your home.

Have fun and stay warm!!

Happy Birthday Calgary Youth Physiotherapy!

Posted on: January 16th, 2017 by Calgary Youth Physiotherapy No Comments

Calgary Youth Physiotherapy is celebrating it’s 27th birthday!

Thank you for choosing us to serve your Calgary children for their physiotherapy needs over the past 27 years! 

South location is 27 years old and our north location is
celebrating it’s 3
rd birthday!

Thank you!

Christmas at CYP

Posted on: December 20th, 2015 by Calgary Youth Physiotherapy No Comments

xmas-tree

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