A trip with Jiraffe to….the beach!

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Using your walker in a small space requires a change in the way we approach walking. Playing in the park and exploring the outdoors is in short supply and we are all missing getting out and about so let’s go to the beach!

We have put together some fun activities you can all get involved with in your home or garden space.

Firstly are your wheels free for a spin – all wheels can be on swivel mode to help you move about small spaces. Secondly create your sensory stations, pick a theme your whole family can get involved with and unleash your imagination. Your about to go on a journey to a place you can’t get to right now – the beach – yay!

Let’s set the scene – Music with waves crashing, sea gulls flying overhead and a little UK wind. Get positioned in your walker. Ready…

Foot prints in the sand – At the beach, yay!

Let’s get to the water –Take your shoes and socks off and use this opportunity to explore with your feet. Throw down some dried pasta or bubble wrap and pretend it’s the broken shells and the sand between your toes. You can even add some cooked pasta and wet the bubble wrap for seaweed. Feel these items in a bowl if you’re not keen on diving in with your feet at first.

Preparation for walking is important to allow the brain time to understand what you’re asking it to do. A perfect opportunity to stop and think about the messages your feet are sending to your brain ready for taking steps.

A drop in the ocean – Water sports time, we made it!

Everyone likes a beach ball, fancy a game?– if you don’t have a ball try using a balloon or bubbles and pop them.

A bit of football or volleyball? Throw it anywhere. The ball will promote functional engagement of the core and some pushing through your legs.

All these skills are needed to be able to move through your centre of gravity and take steps. Great job. (Water play opportunity if you are feeling brave enough!! Or wet flannel if it’s too dangerous)

The promenade

It’s a little Windy now the evening is drawing in. You can use anything to create the feeling of wind in the air.

The crackle of tin foil sounds like crashing waves and looks like the sun setting on the water. Try shining a torch on it to make the sun really stand out.  You might even get spray from the waves (spray bottle or sprinkle of water).

Practice marching on the spot or between rooms, any activity with your legs will strengthen them and keep your hips safe. Dynamic movement encourages strong formation of bones, good growing.

Home time

It’s time for stretching and relaxation – Take out the after sun (moisturiser) and put those feet up, its been wild at the beach. Turn the lights down, shut the curtains, relax the music and take a moment to talk about where you have been whilst doing those all-important stretches. This is an opportunity to massage and care for the muscles you have been building and reduce the aches we all feel from exercise.

We hope you enjoyed your trip! Why not join Jiraffe for a trip to the fun fair!

Keep an eye out for more ‘trips with Jiraffe’, created by Jiraffe Product Advisor – Abigail Gage, coming soon!

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We’re always looking for enthusiastic children, young people, therapists and parents to tell us what they want and how we can improve. Why not send us your story, thoughts, ideas ? Just email us at yourstory@jiraffe.org.uk.