If you are looking for a fun activity that builds strength and motor skills, you cannot beat wheelbarrow walking. Weight bearing on the hands is a great way to promote upper extremity and core strength, and also provides great proprioceptive feedback. So everybody grab a partner and get moving!
Skill Areas Addressed (See Glossary):
- Gross motor skills
- Motor control
- Social skills
- Trunk stability
What You Will Need:
- An open space, buckets
- Beanbags or other objects for relay race
- Cones or other obstacles
- A real wheelbarrow, if desired
What To Do:
- Assign partners, 1 person to act as the "wheelbarrow" (walking on hands), and the other to act as the "farmer" (holding his partner's feet).
- Put a bucket of beanbags at 1 end of your play space, and an empty bucket at the other end.
- When you say "go," the farmer has to place a beanbag on his partner’s back and wheelbarrow walk to place it into the other bucket. When they get there, the partners switch and return for another beanbag.
- Repeat until all beanbags have made it into the empty bucket. If you are playing with only 1 child, you will be the farmer the whole time.
How To Change It Up:
- Set up some obstacles between the buckets (eg, cones, stools) for the partners to navigate around.
- Set up your race course where there is a slope or unevenness to the ground to make it harder.
- Try having the partners go backwards to reach the other bucket (go slow—this is a big challenge).
- Use a real wheelbarrow, and have kids take turns racing back and forth to transport beanbags, rocks, or leaves.
Explore More Activites Like This!
Explore more activities to promote development in children, and check out our health center for children.
This content is provided in collaboration with The Inspired Treehouse and has been reviewed by the MoveForwardPT.com editorial board.