If you have a child who needs occupational therapy, you know how challenging it can be to provide fun, engaging activities that can aid their treatment. However, did you know that using a trampoline as an occupational therapy tool can be very effective?
What Age Groups Benefit From Trampoline Therapy?
All ages can benefit from trampoline therapy — it can be a fun activity for the whole family! Your kiddos will develop the skills they need to thrive, and you as parents will get a good workout while you all bond as a family.
Benefits of Bouncing or Jumping as a Therapeutic Tool
There are numerous benefits of trampoline jumping. Bouncing and jumping can help children develop gross motor skills, improve proprioception systems, help sensory regulation, release endorphins, boost the lymphatic system, and support visual motor development. Rebounder therapy is an excellent tool for practically every aspect of your child’s health.
Develop Gross Motor Skills
The act of bouncing on a trampoline allows children to develop their balance, coordination, and strength. Since the surface of a trampoline is unstable, the muscles in the feet are exercised, stimulating micro-movements. All of this develops overall postural stability as well. Physical therapy on a trampoline is both fun and engaging!
Improves Proprioception and Vestibular Systems
Our proprioception system is the system that helps us understand our body’s position relative to our surroundings, and our vestibular system is the one that helps us understand where our head is in space and keeps us upright. Both of these systems are supported by jumping on a trampoline. The act of bouncing stimulates our muscles and joints and gives input about our overall positioning to our brains.
Helps With Sensory Regulation
Stress, anger, anxiety, and other negative feelings can be released through movement, such as jumping on a trampoline. This is called sensory regulation. Bouncing on a trampoline can energize you for the day or help you deal with extra energy or big feelings at the end of the day.
Endorphins are the feel-good hormones released when we exercise. They help us by improving and promoting mental health and well-being. It’s possible that trampoline bouncing releases extra endorphins, especially if you’re jumping with people you love.
Helps the Lymphatic System
Jumping regularly promotes lymphatic drainage and contributes to healthy circulation. The rebounding in particular causes lymphatic valves to simultaneously open and close so that more lymph flows through them to remove toxins and boost immunities.
Supports Visual Processing and Visual Motor Development
Visual motor development is what helps us use our hands and eyes to perform coordinated tasks. Jumping on a trampoline can support your visual processing and visual motor development by making your eyes track stationary objects as your eyes move.
How Jumping Improves Strength and Balance
Beyond developing skills, trampoline therapy can also improve strength and balance. The rhythmic motion, dynamic surface, and tactile input all improve how your body works and carries you.
The rhythmic movement of jumping on a trampoline improves balance. It forces the muscles in your legs and feet to make minor adjustments to keep you stable. As a result, your balance is challenged, and if you do it enough, your balance is improved.
Trampolines can help strengthen muscles throughout your whole body. When you practice exercises focusing on strength and stability, the dynamic surface of the trampoline can make the exercises even more challenging.
Tactile input is how we sense pressure and texture. It allows us to interact with the world around us, and it also helps with sensory overwhelm. Trampolines are great for tactile input because it’s easy to differentiate the pressure, and the texture of a trampoline is unique but not unpleasant to experience.
How Jumping Improves Endurance and Fitness
Trampoline therapy can improve the endurance and fitness of the jumper. The elevated heart rate and gentle pressure that comes with trampoline jumping benefits you in the long run. Get started with trampoline exercises for kids and see what a difference they can make.
Elevated Heart Rate
Jumping is a fast and easy way to get your heart rate up, which improves your cardiovascular function. Doctors recommend regular cardio exercise for a reason — your heart is a muscle, too, and elevating your heart rate regularly strengthens it. Ditch the jump rope and try a trampoline instead.
Bouncing also creates pressure on the bones. Pressure on the bones may not sound good, but gentle pressure is positive, as it supports bone density and strength and improves endurance and fitness in the long run.
How Jumping Improves Cognitive Function
If you want to help improve your child’s cognitive function, jumping on a trampoline can do that, too. Jumping is a great tool for therapy sessions, an excellent source of sensory input, and works well as a positive reward. Many people suggest a trampoline as therapy for autism.
As a Tool During Therapy Sessions
An occupational therapy trampoline can help kiddos in a big way. Not only can jumping be a fun tool during therapy sessions, but when kids are feeling intense feelings or working through things, bouncing can help them manage and regulate their emotions.
As a Source of Sensory Input
Some kids struggle with sensory input. Sensory therapy toys like a sensory trampoline are great ways to help them interact with the world safely and predictably and prepare them to interact with the world on a larger scale later in life.
As a Positive Reward
Since exercise releases endorphins, bouncing on a trampoline can be used as a positive reward. If your child has worked hard and gotten a lot done, it could be helpful to let them take a break and jump on the trampoline for a little while to get their blood flowing and endorphins going.
Jumping and Bouncing Equipment for Occupational Therapy
Many sensory therapy toys can be used for occupational therapy, with pros and cons to consider. With occupational therapy room equipment, you should consider the floor space you have available, the storability of the equipment, the weight or age limits, the price, and the function and usability of the occupational therapy toys.
If you’re looking for good pediatric therapy equipment, Jungle Jumparoo is the way to go. With bars perfect for little hands and a tube that’s low to the ground, the Jungle Jumparoo is one of the safest options when it comes to an occupational therapy trampoline. It doesn’t take up much space and is great for indoor use, so it’s easy to use and easy to store. You can even get it in two different sizes to suit all ages. Even adults can have fun on the Jungle Jumparoo!
A mini trampoline is also nice as a therapy trampoline. It takes up less space than a traditional outdoor trampoline and can be safer than a conventional trampoline as well. It can really only fit one person at a time, though, and there are still springs to consider. There aren’t any handholds, either, so it’s easier for kids to fall off.
Your kids can get some of the same trampoline benefits from bounce pads. They are low to the ground, so they are pretty safe for small children to use. However, they don’t give quite the same bounce, so the dynamic surface is missing, and it doesn’t affect the vestibular system in the same way.
Inflatable balls give great bounce for kids to jump around. They can be great sensory therapy toys and are easy to keep around. Children are more likely to fall off, though, which can lead to injury. The tactile input isn’t the same for the hands and feet as a trampoline would be, either.
Engaging Body and Mind
Overall, having a trampoline for occupational therapy can build necessary skills, improve strength and endurance, and increase cognitive function. If you want an excellent trampoline toy for your kiddos, look no further than the Jungle Jumparoo. The ease of use, the safety features, and the fun will make it the new favorite in your toy room. Check it out and buy yours today!