Walk Like an Animal
Lions, tigers, and bears….oh my! Does your kiddo like to play pretend? Well, animal walks are a great way to pretend you are a bear walking through the forest, while receiving excellent health benefits. Animal walks are a great way for kiddos to work on gross motor skills, strengthening, motor planning, balance, flexibility, endurance, and just being a kid!
Here are some fun animal walks to try with your kiddos at home:
Start on your bottom and push up on to arms and legs and walk forward or backward maintaining bottom off of the ground.
Walking on all fours, but trying to keep your bottom up in the air and arms/legs fairly straight.
Start by reaching down to the floor then walk your hands out as close to a push up position as possible, then walk your feet in trying to maintain straight arms and legs.
Modification: have hands and feet on a slidable surface such as a plastic dot on carpet (or laminated piece of paper), which will make the movement a little easier.
Slither forward on your tummy using your arms to pull you slightly.
Leap frog over other friends or family. You can also have your kids jump like a frog by having them place their hands down on the floor then moving them out followed by jumping out with their feet, just like a frog! RIBBIT!
Bending over at the waist let your hands touch the floor or under your arms and walk forward.
Bending over at the waist, have your hands clasped together for the trunk and swing back and forth.
Keeping feet together, jump forward like a bunny. To increase the challenge you can have them jump over objects like a hula hoop.
Don’t forget to make it fun! Have your kiddos make the animal sound or dress up like the animal as they perform the walks, or have them make up a story about the animal they are pretending to be. You can even pretend to be other animals and let your imagination take you into the deepest depths of the jungle, ocean, and desert! Therapists at PTC love using animal walks during therapy sessions. Now it’s your turn, let’s see how creative you can be and teach us some new, creative animal walks!
Katie Collin, PT, DPT