parentscan Ideas for Parents of Children with Cerebral Palsy
1. March to the Beat Music is a terrific tool for use during gait training and practice! Songs that are a slow to moderate speed with a simple, strong, steady beat typically work the best. Some of our favorites are “When The Saints Go Marching In,” “The Ants Go Marching,” or “We Are The Dinosaurs” by The Laurie Berkner Band. Get ready to sing, stomp, and march along to the beat!
3. Row Your Boat Put a laundry basket with soft edges on a carpeted surface and place your child inside the basket in a seated position. Slide the laundry basket across the floor… back and forth, side to side, and round and round while singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat. This activity provides a safe way for your child to work on trunk control without falling out or over. If you child loses balance he/she will just bounce off the side of the laundry basket.
Written by Jamie George, MM, MT-BC, Andrew Littlefield, MM, MT-BC, Andrea Johnson, MT-BC, Tasia Dockery, MT-BC, Lana Card, MT-BC, and Jordan van Zyl, MT-BC from The George Center for Music Therapy, Inc.
2. Body Awareness Songs "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” and the “Hokey Pokey” are great songs to use to facilitate body awareness. As you sing the song, use hand over hand to assist your child in locating each part of their body. As the child continues to grow and develop their skills, begin to allow them to independently locate each body part.
4. Bumping Up and Down Parents can help their child develop balance during playtime by using different games and rhymes. Try incorporating a few rounds of “Little Red Wagon” while gently bouncing your child up and down on your knees and supporting them as they bounce. Giggles and smiles are sure to abound!
5. Grip, Reach, and Play Instrument play can be a fun and effective way to address range of motion and motor control. This can be as simple using a drum stick to play a drum or cymbal that is just out of reach and requires the child to stretch out to play. Adaptive mallets can be found online with thicker handles and straps to assist with grip, or a simple hair "scrunchie" can be used to help keep the mallet in a child's hand.
thegeorgecenter.com imagine 5(1), 2014
The focus of imagine 2014 is on family-centered practice – a trend taking hold in music therapy circles worldwide. While many practitioners...