If you’re looking for scooter board activities for kids, you’re in for a treat! This collection of ideas is suitable for children of all ages and abilities. They are easy to setup and heaps of fun, and can be extremely beneficial to kids with sensory processing disorder, autism, ADHD, and other developmental delays and challenges.
Read on for a deeper look into scooter board activities and how they can benefit your child!
What is a Scooter Board and Where Can I Buy One?
At first glance, a scooter board is pretty similar to a skateboard in that it’s essentially a piece of wood or plastic with 4 wheels attached the bottom. The only real difference in appearance is that skateboards tend to be rectangular in shape, while scooter boards are square. This square shape makes scooter boards more stable for kids to sit and lie on, creating the perfect tool for kids who need proprioceptive and vestibular input.
Scooter boards are often used in occupational therapy for kids with developmental delays and challenges like autism, sensory processing disorder, and ADHD to help work on a variety of skills in a fun and non-threatening way. As mentioned above, scooter board activities provide proprioceptive and vestibular input, which can have a calming effect on the nervous system and help kids with things like body awareness, organization, and self-regulation.
You can buy a scooter board pretty inexpensively on Amazon (we love our Gamecraft Safety Guard Scooter!), and we’re excited to share our favorite scooter board activities for kids below!
What Skills Do Scooter Board Activities for Kids Develop?
While beneficial and fun for kids of all abilities, scooter board activities are particularly helpful to those who struggle with vestibular and/or proprioceptive dysfunction, as well as children with gross motor challenges and developmental delays like autism and sensory processing disorder.
Incorporating scooter board activities into a child’s daily routine can help:
- Improve muscle tone. Kids with autism and sensory processing disorder tend to have low muscle tone, resulting in challenges with strength, flexibility, and endurance. Scooter board activities offer a fun way to help strengthen a child’s arms, legs, hands, and core muscles.
- Calm and organize the nervous system. Scooter board activities help calm and organize the nervous system, which can help lower feelings of stress and anxiety, reduce aggressive behaviors, and improve self-regulation.
- Improve body awareness. Children with proprioceptive dysfunction have difficulty understanding where they are in relation to the space around their bodies, which can impact their ability to sit, stand, stretch, bend over, climb stairs, run, etc. Scooter board activities help improve this awareness, thereby making these activities easier.
- Promote greater focus and attention. The calming effects of scooter board activities have the added bonus of improving a child’s ability to sit still and concentrate. Scheduling regular ‘brain breaks’ throughout the day is important for kids and adults alike, and if your child struggles with things like focus, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity, engaging your child in scooter board activities before sitting down to do homework can be extremely beneficial. Teachers may consider providing brain breaks that involve scooter boards throughout the day as well.
11 Scooter Board Activities for Kids
1) Basic Scootering. As excited as you may be to dive right into these scooter board activities for kids, it’s important that you and your child take some time to get familiar with how a scooter board works, and how it feels when your child is lying, sitting, and kneeling on the board. While some children really enjoy the thrill of the movement scooter boards create, others aren’t as comfortable and may need some time to warm up to the idea of engaging in scooter board activities. Here are some basic scootering activities to help you get started:
- Have your child lie on his/her tummy with his/her legs in the air and ask him/her to move from one side of the room to the other using his/her hands and arms.
- Have your child sit on his/her bottom on the scooter board and and ask him/her to move from one side of the room to the other using his/her hands and arms.
- Have your child kneel on the scooter board and and ask him/her to move from one side of the room to the other using his/her hands and arms.
2) Simon Says. Kids love this game, and you can easily turn it into a super fun scooter board activity. Simply lead your child through a variety of movements with the board. For example:
- ‘Simon says kneel on the board and push yourself forward with your hands 5 times’
- ‘Simon says lie on your tummy on the board and use your arms to move from [object A] to [object B]’
- ‘Simon says sit on the board and use your arms to move yourself backwards with your hands 3 times’
At some point throughout the game, provide a command without saying ‘Simon says’ first and see if your child remembers not to complete the movement!
3) Wall Push Offs. Once your child is more comfortable on the scooter board, he/she will get a kick out of using a wall to gain greater momentum while lying, sitting, or kneeling on the board. Start with your child lying on his/her tummy and pushing off from a wall using his/her feet, and then mix it up!
4) Rope Fun. Have your child hold onto one end of a rope while lying, then sitting, and then kneeling on the scooter board while you pull him/her from one end of the room to another. You can go as fast or slow as you like, or mix it up to make it extra fun!
5) Rope Pulls. Give your child one end of a rope while you hold onto the other end and ask him/her to pull him/herself toward you while lying, then sitting, and then kneeling on the scooter board. You will obviously need to remain stationary for this activity.
6) Bungee Fun. Hook each end of a bungee cord to something stationary (or have an adult hold each side) so that the bungee cord is taunt, then ask your child to grab ahold of the middle of the bungee cord and rock from side to side while lying, then sitting, and then kneeling on the scooter board.
7) Plunger Fun. Yes, you read that right: a couple of (clean) bathroom plungers can help you create some pretty fun scooter board activities for kids! Have your child sit or kneel on a scooter board and use the plungers to help him/her move from one end of the room to the other (you can sing Row Row Row Your Boat to make it extra fun!) and then challenge him/her to do the same thing while lying tummy side down on the scooter board.
8) Scooter Board Spinning. If your child seeks or avoids vestibular input, spinning is a great activity to try to help him/her become more comfortable with the feeling of movement beyond his/her control. You can gently spin your child around and around while he/she is lying, sitting, or kneeling on the board, and then you can challenge him/her to try and re-create the spinning movement in each position using his/her hands and arms.
9) Spiderman Push and Pull. For those who have never done spidermans as part of an ab workout, it’s quite easy to do. Have your child lie on his/her tummy on the scooter board while raising his/her arms and legs as far towards the ceiling as possible. Next, either gently push (using your hands) or pull (using a rope attached to the scooter board) your child forwards and backwards while he/she holds the spiderman position.
10) Scooter Board Sorting. Have your child lie on his/her tummy on the scooter board, grab hold of his/her feet, and guide him or her toward a pile objects and specify which items you want him/her to pick up. Next, guide him/her toward a bucket and ask him/her to put the items inside. The idea is for your child to have an item in each hand so he/she cannot touch the floor for balance and support while you are moving him/her from point A to point B.
11) Scooter Board Obstacle Course. There are so many ways you can create an obstacle course for your child using a scooter board based on the props you have available to you. You may opt to simply provide verbal commands for your child to complete, or you can go all out and create an obstacle course that includes additional gross motor movements and activities (not just scooter board activities). It all depends on the space you have available to you! Just remember to keep it fun and engaging to help maintain your child’s interest.
Whether your child has a developmental delay or challenge like autism, sensory processing disorder, or ADHD, or you’re just looking for fun and engaging ways to help your little one develop his or her gross motor skills, I hope this collection of scooter board activities for kids inspires you!
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