kids with some delays?

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Hi, I'm new here! I have triplets who just turned 4, as well as a 2 1/2 year old. The triplets were preemies, and have had some gross motor delays all along. After being in physical therapy for years, one of them is about to graduate, and I wouldn't be surprised if #2 isn't far behind.

The PT has warned me repeatedly that we need to continue to work on strength (especially upper body), coordination, balance, etc. If we don't do these things on a daily basis, we will end up back in PT.

My children go to The Little Gym pre-gymnastics classes one time a week. They LOVE it. However, they are definitely behind the other children in the class. They can hang from the bars for a few seconds, but can't lift their toes up even to straight out front. They can do forward rolls but need to roll to their sides to get up rather than standing straight up like most of the other kids. In walking down a low beam, they fall off at least once. They can't "scoop ice cream" or do leg lifts. Their only special skill is that they can all "walk up the wall" to a handstand position (though bent at the waist). I used that as a punishment for a while, and they all got good at it quickly! :)

Because they enjoy the gymnastics so much, I was thinking this would be a good way to incorporate the therapist's recommendations. I was considering buying some small home equipment (perhaps one of those on the floor foam balance beams, a doorway chin-up bar, etc.).

Any advice as to what equipment would be needed? Any advice as to easy or fun ways to work on strength, flexiblity, and balance at home on a daily basis? Is there a book you might recommend to be sure I am covering all the bases?

Also, is there somewhere I can find a listing of skills that they should be able to perform at this age? (Like maybe should be able to do one chinup or whatever.)

Thank you so much for any advice you could offer!


Proud Parent
Jun 26, 2008
Welcome to CB! My you must be very busy!!! I am a pediatric PT and coach/consultant to my dd's gymnastics team. Here are a couple of quick recommendations for you.

Investment in 'home gymnastics equipment' is not really necessary for your little ones from the sound of it. Instead, do you have a swingset? I'd get a trapeze bar for the swing set and they can hold themselves up and swing, and try to pull their chins up. Got a slide? Work on leg and hip strength by climbing up the slide! You can make little obstacle courses at home with hula hoops to jump in, tables to crawl under, etc...Work on jumping and "sticking the landing" off 1 or 2 steps at the bottom of a staircase. A small balance beam would be nice, but you could use a line of masking tape on the floor, or chalk line on the driveway or walk along a curb.

All of the above suggestions can be easily done on a daily basis (if the weather cooperates!). Have fun with them and save the gym equipment for the gym!:) Have fun with all of your little ones!!
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