Purposeful Play for Every Day: Couch Cushion Edition

Purposeful Play for Every Day: Couch Cushion Edition

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BY EMILY GORACKE, PT

Couch cushions can be used for much more than lounging. Grab a couch cushion and your little one as we review ways to incorporate this everyday item into purposeful play to promote gross motor development.

  • Incline tummy time: Place a pillow under one edge of the cushion to make an inclined surface to use for tummy time.
  • Prone on extended elbows: Place your child on top of the cushion so that their head/ arms are over the edge and able to reach the ground. This allows for practice maintaining extended arms with trunk support.
  • Modified tall kneeling: Use the cushion as a support surface to practice weight-bearing through arms while positioned on knees.
  • Side sit: Place the cushion to the child’s side, and place a toy on top of the cushion. Use the cushion as an elevated surface for the child to weight bear through one arm while encouraging reaching across midline and trunk rotation.
  • Standing on compliant surface: Have the child stand on top of the cushion as a balance challenge. Increase the difficulty by encouraging them to squat, reach, or throw while standing on top of the cushion.
  • Obstacle course: Use the cushion as part of an obstacle course by having the child step on and off of the cushion.