You may have seen the Vuly trampolines here at NAPA and wondered what we use them for… Whilst it often looks like play, trampolines provide lots of amazing benefits when linked to therapy. So much in fact, our occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech therapists integrate them in their therapy sessions often. Trampolines are super versatile in how they can be used in a session, and today we are going to delve a little deeper into ways they can be used in each kind of therapy.
Trampolines are often a popular tool when working with children and families who are working towards developing sensory processing and self-regulation-based goals. Jumping on a trampoline offers a lot of proprioceptive and vestibular input. Both proprioceptive and vestibular input can be regulating for children who seek a higher amount of these kinds of sensory inputs. Many children also love to jump and then crash onto the trampoline mat which is also a strong form of deep pressure and proprioceptive input.
For children who are more hesitant during movement and may not enjoy big bounces, crawling or standing/walking on the trampoline still provides a good level of input which can be very organising. OT’s often complete fine motor and handwriting based activities whilst lying or sitting on the trampoline to support motivation and engagement for children who can otherwise find these activities challenging.
Another way trampolines can support sensory processing and self-regulation is by adapting them into “safe spaces.” Some children love to utilise these spaces when they are overwhelmed. It supports them to calm their bodies with the sensory input they need, in a space just for them.
Ideas for Sensory Processing and Self-Regulation on the Trampoline Include:
Trampolines are an excellent tool to support strengthening in children across their whole body. The base of the trampoline is a dynamic surface so it can add an additional challenge to exercises targeted towards strength and stability. Children can practice many usual therapy exercises such as transitions to stand, crawling, wheelbarrow walks, jumping, standing balance, single limb balance, and walking.
Trampolines are an excellent tool to support increasing endurance and fitness in a motivating way. Jumping on the trampoline naturally elevates our heart rates and supports our cardiovascular system. Therapists often will use a range of different activities based on the child or persons endurance level and use these in games and play to support increasing their fitness and endurance.
NAPA speech and language therapists also frequently use the trampoline in therapy sessions. The trampoline is often used in speech sessions as a movement break between other activities as well as providing motivating opportunities for communication. Speechies use this tool to practice following instructions, answering questions, and using it to practice target words through speech, sign or on a communication device. Target words that children often get to practice on the trampoline include: up, down, jump, go, finish, more, stop, like, happy, excited.
Overall, we love integrating trampolines into our therapy sessions.
For families who also have a trampoline at home, therapists may also provide exercises for home that can be done on the trampoline to continue a child’s progress towards their therapy goals. Check out the full range of Vuly Trampolines and play equipment at www.vulyplay.com.