Home exercise videos for children and young people with all abilities and disabilities

This page is for Jungle - children and young people with all abilities and disabilities. Here you'll find lots of fun home exercises and ideas to try with your child at home.

Whole body exercises for children and young people with disabilities

Exercise is beneficial to everyone’s general health – it helps with cardiovascular health, prevents things like stroke and heart disease, is great for self-esteem, releases endorphins so is good for mental health, helps your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels and also helps control weight. 

For those with physical difficulties there are many added benefits: 

  • Improves strength which leads to better gross motor skills and more independent living

  • Improves sleep which is very often a problem with those with physical difficulties

  • Reduces constipation – as the body moves the muscles in the stomach contracts and helps move stomach contents to help with painful trapped wind and constipation

  • Protects joints by increasing muscle strength which takes pressure off joints. 80% of 21 yr olds with Cerebral Palsy have chronic pain in their joints so exercise at a younger age can help reduce the pain and maintain or increase their function in the future.

  • The pull of muscles and weight bearing both increase bone density – reducing the risk of fractures

  • Exercise can help to maintain or increase muscle length through active stretch – keeping ranges of motion in the joints and enabling better gross motor skills and thus improved function and independence.

  • Exercise can reduce fatigue and improve exercise tolerance, so improving function and independence in every day tasks. 

For Autistic children and young people:

  • Exercise can result in marked improvements to numerous behavioural outcomes including improved social and communication skills, reduced stereotypical behaviours, and improved social-emotional functioning, cognition and attention.

For those with ADHD

  • Exercise can have the following benefits: ease stress and anxiety, improve impulse control and reduce compulsive behaviour, enhance working memory, improve executive function (the set of skills required to plan, organise and remember details).

If your child is in a wheelchair, try… 

This video provides slower paced wheelchair exercises.  

It has been made for those with spinal injuries but would work well for those with Cerebral Palsy, or other neurological conditions, with arm involvement/quadriplegia. There are some lovely exercises at the end with weights – use socks, bottles, herb bottles or anything you’ve got lying around the house instead! 

This first video shows neck, arm and shoulder positions and stretches – going through all the movements in clear and easily follow-able instructions. 

This concentrates more on the spine but also involves some arm movements at the same time.  

Great video for young people in wheelchairs or with some standing ability. Aerobic and good for keeping mobile in your chair – great for all round fitness.  

Lovely wheelchair exercises for arms and some leg exercises – great stretches. This also has some options for people who can stand – or you can mix and match if you tire easily 

Another lovely video but this is for an aerobics workout.  This also has some options for people who can stand – or you can mix and match if you tire easily.

 

This is a series of high intensity, cardio workouts to do in a wheelchair or in a sitting position.  

They are probably best for those of you with moderate to high function in your arms and body. There is some leg work but you can keep going with your arms if you are unable to follow the leg exercises. The exercises are fast paced but you can follow at your own speed and join in with the bits you are able to do.  

If you don’t have a stretchy band, use a tin/ bottle/ piece of fruit etc to add some weight to the movement. As you get used to the exercises, you can try to stretch further in each movement or increase your speed or weight to progress.   

If your child has learning difficulties, try…

NCHPAD aim to improve the lives of individuals with Autism through Exercise. 

This brilliant series goes through the many aspects of exercise, including some sensory integration information, to help you teach your child or young person with Autism how to exercise. It has some fabulous ideas, resources and demonstrations for you to tailor your exercises to your child. It is taught by 2 sport and disability experts and has 28 different videos.   

 

Although not specifically adapted for disability this series may work for children with learning difficulties if you repeat them often.  

This is a great series for keeping your younger children fit. Some nice easy exercises well explained and demonstrated with lots of time to get it right. Nice to do with your child.   

A brilliant resource to teach yoga and mindfulness to smaller children. Lots of great themes to keep it fun and engaging for children with all interests. Nice simple instructions so this may also work for some older children with learning difficulties. 

If your child is mobile on the floor, try… 

This series has been done by health professionals and therapists and there are a few different options: Triplegia, Muscular Dystrophy, Hypotonia, Diplegia and Ataxia. These are all for mobile children but you may be able to adapt for some of the children who aren’t quite walking. 

For younger children, try… 

This uses drawings and lots of artwork to make this workout interesting for toddlers.   

2) Koo Koo Kanga Roo

Large series of videos. Fun songs and some easy to follow dance moves or just do your own thing. Something for any child’s taste. 

This channel boasts “healthy music for a child’s heart, body and mind”. It includes is aimed at toddlers and pre-school children with lots of songs to sing and dance along to. Lovely simple movements so easy to follow or just freestyle dance to. 

Here are a selection of suitable Our Home videos

Silly Socks and a bit of Boccia

Lucy Lost-it has created some fun easy to set up games. All you need are some socks!

Tape games

This video gives loads of ideas for fine motor and gross motor skills games using tape.

Stealthy Ways for Handwashing

This video contains tips on how to ‘stealth handwash’ whilst still having fun with various kitchen or household props. 

Obstacle Course

This obstacle course is suitable for those children who can crawl along the floor.

Laser Quest

This video is suitable for mobile children. You can create the laser string quest anywhere in your home and make it as big or small or as easy as you like!

Scavenger Hunt

The scavenger hunt is really simple and easy to set up. It can be adapted to suit any disability and household.

More fun resources for children with disabilities

Thank you for visiting Gympanzees’ website. All information provided by Gympanzees is of general nature and for educational / entertainment purposes. It is up to you as the parent or family member to judge what is appropriate and safe for your child. No information provided by Gympanzees should replace any professional information and advice that you have been given and speak to your therapist or doctor if you are unsure of anything. Should you use any of the information provided by Gympanzees, you do so at your own risk and hold Gympanzees harmless from any and all losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.