Occupational Therapy Physical Therapy

Just Keep Swimming!

It’s officially summer and time to head to the pool! While a day at the pool can be a relaxing day of fun for all, it can also be an excellent opportunity for your children to work on a variety of gross motor, fine motor and social skills commonly delayed in children with NF1. Just be sure to remember the sunscreen and sunglasses!
Ping Pong Retrieval – Similar to collecting pool rings that sink to the bottom of the pool, this game works on the same gathering principle, but above the water. Toss some ping pong balls in the pool and let players swim after them to see who can collect the most. For an added challenge, let them decorate five balls each and have them gather only their balls from the pool.
Skills Required: endurance, coordination, graspimage
Ping Pong Toss – An extension of the ping pong gathering game, you can put a circular inner tube in the pool and have them toss the ping pong balls they gathered into the tube for points.
Skills Required: finger isolation, motor planning, visual motor
Octopus – Essentially Red Rover adapted for the pool, the objective of this game is to swim across the pool without getting tagged by “it”. As children are tagged, they join “it” to act as an octopus with tentacles and assist in tagging the other swimmers.
Skills Required: endurance, coordination, social skills
Pool Whack-a-Mole – Similar to the on-land Whack-a-Mole game, this pool modification involves one “it” person on the side of the pool and multiple other children acting as “moles” bobbing up and down. The “it” person uses a pool noodle to “whack-a-mole” until all the moles are out.
Skills Required: motor planning, visual motor, social skillsimage
Water Hose Limbo – Don’t have access to a pool? Don’t let that stop you from playing fun water games with your children this summer! Hook up the water hose and use the stream of water as a limbo stick. Whoever stays dry the longest wins!
Skills Required: balance, motor control, motor planning, trunk stability