Poor core strength is often the reason kids can’t sit still…
“Do you mind taking a look at one of my students? He just can’t seem to stay in his chair…”
As a school based Occupational Therapist, I hear this question at least twice a week.
For the most part, kids are expected to sit at their desks in the classroom. There are times when the class breaks up into groups and move around to sit on the floor, etc., but for the rest of the day, they are supposed to sit in their seat.
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CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO – MISS JAIME, OT EXPLAINS HOW CORE STRENGTH AFFECTS HANDWRITING…
What happens when they can’t Sit?
- Swinging feet
- Sitting on legs
- Standing at desk
- Sitting half on, half off the chair
- Excessive wiggling, moving around in their seat
Why can’t kids sit still?
There are many possible reasons that a child has difficulty sitting.
- Sensory issues
- Attention or hyperactivity difficulty
- Lack of exercise and recess time
- Furniture that is too big or small
AND THEN…ANOTHER ONE THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT:
Another very common reason that children have difficulty sitting?
poor core strength!
- Does your child change positions frequently?
- Do they lean on the desktop?
- Slump over?
- W Sit?
- Have difficulty paying attention?
- Use their “helping hand” to prop themselves up?
- Do they always lean on the wall, the couch, or you?
- Are they struggling to ride a bike or tie their shoes?
If the answer is yes, then it’s very likely that the child has poor core strength. Sometimes we are expecting too much of a child who simply doesn’t have the strength in their musculature to sit up for more than a few minutes. So they lean, slump, or fidget to try to get comfortable.
HOW TO HELP POOR CORE STRENGTH:
- Pumping legs to swing on a swing
- Walking, running, or biking to school
- Climbing on playground equipment
- Yoga, Karate, and Swimming
- Riding a bike
- Climbing trees
- Obstacle courses that you crawl through
- Crawling through tunnels
- Skateboarding, rollerskating, using a scooter board or razor scooter
- Chores that require heavy lifting: carrying laundry, groceries, etc.
- Chores that involve pushing/pulling: shoveling snow, sweeping, etc.
- Creative Core Strength Ideas
I love to use the Core Strengthening Program with my students in therapy. My older students LOVE to use the QR codes to scan the exercise and follow the video. My younger students like to just look at the picture and do the exercise. The exercise program lets the child keep track of their own progress, which is motivating.
Free Parent & Teacher OT Handouts
5 Printable handouts for parents, teachers or therapists.