How to teach son to skip?

by Pat

My 6 year old son has a gross motor skills delay.

The resource room teacher working with him has been trying to teach him to skip for about a month now. He leaves her room at the end of the day and I get a chance to see his attempts as he tries to skip back to his class. The other little fellows seem to be doing all right but my son is holding the teacher's hand and seems quite leaden.

Even though he loves to run in games he always has that "heavy" look and any skipping/jumping/footwork activities are a problem. Needless to say this makes his joining in ball sports impossible.

Are there any step-by-step suggestions you could make to help him with at least this skill?

Also, OT Mom, thanks so much for your website, especially the photos for some reason make the exercises easy to understand. Would your gross motor skills e-book be the best to address his needs? Thanks again for any help.

Comments for How to teach son to skip?

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developing skipping skills
by: OT Mom

Hi Pat,
I am sorry to hear of your son's difficulties.

Skipping is quite a complex exercise for little kids. Skipping requires strong core muscles, bilateral coordination skills, motor planning skills and strong feet. A strong core makes you "lighter" on your feet - try ballroom dancing with your tummy slack, and then with your tummy pulled tight and you will see what I mean :-). Bilateral coordination helps you use both sides of your body in a coordinated way. Motor planning is the ability to plan and carry out tasks, and poor coordination skills can affect this too. If your son has flat feet, this would definitely affect all the areas you described, so check his feet, too.

I am not able to tell which your son needs - for that I would recommend an occupational therapy or physical therapy evaluation, because from the sounds of things, it is hampering his ability to play with his friends and join in at school, and that would affect his self esteem.

However, while you wait for an assessment, you can always try incorporating core exercises and bilateral coordination exercises into your time with your son. The core exercises e-book and the bilateral coordination e-book would probably be the most helpful to you (you can see them on my Gross Motor E-book page).

I hope this helps! Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any more questions! Thank you for your words of encouragement about my site!

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