Umbrellas can be fun for strengthening and visual attention and tracking. A solid bold color or bright multicolored umbrellas work best.
Below are 5 fun ways to get therapy done.
1. Place light balls (ones found in a ball pit or table tennis balls are great) in the umbrella when it is upside down. You can spin it or swing it if working on 2 hand bilateral symmetrical moves with eyes attended.
2. Put on some inspiring music and have clients move their umbrella as if it is dancing to the music. Great for expressive creativity and upper body strengthening.
3. Have clients imitate what you do with your umbrella. This is fun for following directions, fine motor, UE and trunk strengthening and can be done at the seated or standing levels.
4. ADL practice (pick up, open and close) is fun when umbrella’s are part of an obstacle course. [FYI Mopping mats is also fun for kids as they see the water go on wet and then dry]
5. Have kids carry an umbrella as they walk along a beam for balance and body awareness.
NOTE: SNF or Rehab clients need to be able to use an umbrella as well, so using an umbrella can keep treatment from being dull. They often like it as part of an obstacle course set up.