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3 Fun Games for the Pool to Improve Fine and Gross Motor, Sensory, and Cognitive Skills

With the weather so hot, most families are trying to cool down by going to their local pool or lake, swimming in the backyard, or playing with water toys!  But did you know there is a therapeutic benefit when kids swim?

Swimming and playing with water toys have an impact on gross motor, fine motor, sensory, and cognitive skills.  Water is a buoyant force. This means the water offsets the pull of gravity and reduces the weight that is put on our joints.  Water also acts as a resistance when we move through it. In order to move through the water, we need adequate strength, coordination, endurance, and range of motion. Therefore, we are expending a ton of energy during swimming while working on the above skills! Over time, we will see changes in our strength, coordination, endurance and range of motion. Did you know that swimming has also been shown to improve the following:

  • Sensory Processing skills
  • Cognition
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Balance
  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Cardiorespiratory  health
  • Weight management
  • Reduces Stress
  • Mental Health

This list goes on, but you get the point!  So today I wanted to provide you with three pool activities that may benefit your child.  Before you try these games, please make sure that all necessary precautions, such as depth of pool, floatation devices are being worn, weather, etc., are made in order for your child to be safe.

1. Marco Polo

In this game, one player is “it” and has to close their eyes. They call out “Marco” and all of the other players call out “Polo”. The “it” child swims with their eyes closed and tries to tag one of the other kids. This game is great for the sensory system because the kids need to listen to where the sounds are coming from. Then the child needs to swim in one of those directions and tag a friend.

2. Atomic whirlpool

In this game you need a pool where you can touch the floor safely. From there everyone stands in a circle and then runs counterclockwise. After a whirlpool is made, everyone stops and tries to run in a clockwise direction. The whirlpool will continue to pull you into the counterclockwise direction and everyone must try to resist this. If they are not successful they may lose balance and go with the flow of water. This game works on endurance, balance, and strength!

3. Scavenger Hunt

The last activity is a scavenger hunt. In this game you want some toys that either float or sink in the pool. The kids will start on one end of the pool and swim to the other end of the pool to try and retrieve the items. After they gather the items, they will bring it back to where they started. You can have fun with this game by having the kids find specific colors or objects. Some dive tubes have numbers on them, so you can work on math skills, such as identifying numbers, adding or subtracting.  You can work on executive functioning skills by providing your child with multiple objects to find and then collect them in a specific order.

Don’t let this summer be dry! Get out, get wet, and have some fun with your kids, while working on their skills!

-Brittany Stout, MOT, OTR/L

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Patient Reviews

LLA Therapy

Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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