Most experts agree that children with medical needs should be engaged in activities to keep their bodies and minds stimulated while they are receiving in home pediatric care. This helps them respond better to treatments, and helps foster the healing process. Whether your child is dealing with a short-term or long-term medical condition, it is important that they receive adequate physical/mental exercise.
The activities you choose for your child should not only be appropriate for their age and health condition, but also fun to participate in. Here are some popular activities that might be suitable for your child:
Photography: Taking pictures can be especially helpful for kids with ADHD. Learning how to take photos gives children a different perspective on the world, which can be very therapeutic. Parents should take the lead role in teaching their medically challenged children the skills of handling the camera, digital imaging, film processing and final printing. Through this experience, the child will build confidence, improve concentration, and have the opportunity to share what they have learned with others around them.
Yoga: The healing postures and breathing techniques of yoga can promote psychological and physical wellness in your child. Yoga brings harmony and stability to the mind, body and soul, which is very important for a child with ongoing medical needs. Practicing yoga with your child will help them (and you) develop a calm and steady mind, and this is good for everyone involved.
One of the main benefits of yoga is that anyone can participate at their own personal level. Even kids with very limited mobility can still develop better breathing techniques (in accordance with what they are able to do physically). Moreover, the yoga environment can be structured for the optimal benefit of the child. For example, you can put on soft music in the background to create a soothing effect.
Emotion Drawing and Painting: This creative in-home pediatric care activity can help your child get in touch with their feelings. Simply suggest a particular emotion such as anger, joy, or sadness then allow the child to draw that emotion using the crayons that you provide them. Or have them paint it on a piece of paper. Upon completion, the artwork can also act as an indicator of how the child is feeling at any particular time.
Clay Molding: Playing with clay is not only a fun pastime for children with medical needs, but it can also help improve their motor coordination. They can roll out the clay and use cookie cutters from home to make shapes or create their own unique figures. Carving tools such as plastic knives or toothbrushes can also be used to create texture for the moldings.
Light Dancing: Light dancing is great for kids with medical needs as it encourages large-muscle movement and promotes better joint mobility. It also improves spatial memory, coordination and muscle tone function. There are various dance styles that may be suitable for medically challenged children; some examples include ballet, jazz and tap dancing.
Since each child that receives in-home pediatric care has unique medical needs, it is important to choose only those activities that they are physically able to perform and will provide them the most benefit. As always, check with your health professional or home health care agency to determine which activities are appropriate and helpful for your child.