9 Sports to Play at Home for Children with Diplegia or Hemiplegia
Sport is a great way to get exercise, and is known to boost confidence and improve self-esteem as well as improving strength and stamina but your child is also having fun!
Sports are often played in teams but the skills in the sport can be practiced at home and can be very enjoyable.
If you have several children, we have given some ideas of sports they can play together. However, many can also be played with just you and your child or the child on their own.
This is a great opportunity to let off some steam and challenge your children.
Here are some great indoor sports and activity ideas to try at home with your child.
You can set up a volleyball court with a piece of string between 2 walls in a corridor or between 2 chairs. The aim is to make the balloon/ ball touch the floor on your opponent’s side of the string.
A corridor is great for this if your child has less accurate arm function as the walls keep the balloon in reach.
Set up a laundry basket or draw a circle on a piece of paper and stick it to the wall or the floor for a goal.
Try to score a goal from different places – getting further away with each successful shot.
Set up 10 bowling pins in a triangle shape – use loo roll inners or empty plastic bottles if you don’t have skittles. Try to knock over all the skittles. See how many tries it takes to knock them down.
Get further away from the skittles as your child improves.
Try this with your child in some different positions – in their supportive chair, on their hands and knees or up high on their knees to work their muscles further.
This is a fabulous and fully inclusive sport similar to Bowles. See this Our Home video which explains how to play the game.
Dribble a balloon around the house using a their hands.
You could set up an obstacle course with chairs and a goal at the end for a single child game.
For a more dexterous child, keeping the balloon in the air while they crawl around the house will keep them entertained and use up lots of energy.
They have created this fantastic series for those with more profound learning needs. They use very simple language and makaton, give plenty of time for processing information and have a lovely variety of activities to try or engage with.
Here we have an example of their first exercise session:
They have started a weekly series with different themes each day including:
Monday – Hello, Tuesday – Storybook, Wednesday – Exercise, Thursday – Dance and Friday – Challenge.
Join in with as much as you can and help your child to move where possible.
See all their videos on their You-Tube site: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpx3Y7rl9HmojNnJdcfUizQ
This great series Tennis at Home done by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) provides simple ideas to practice your tennis skills in your back garden or in a room with a few meters of space.
If you don’t have a tennis racket you can still try these games with a fly swatter, any other kind of bat, a roll of wrapping paper or a broom. You could use socks, a balloon or scrunched up paper instead of a ball.
The activities vary in difficulty but most can be played from the wheelchair or in kneeling.
Table cricket is played by people with all disabilities. It is a great game to play with all the family and can be played using a regular table.
This video Keeping fit and healthy at home: Table top tennis gives a quick demonstration of how to set up and play table cricket in the home.
Visit this video by the Lords Taverners Lord’s Taverners | Rules of Table Cricket for more detailed explanations of how to play this great inclusive game.
This video Off The Couch | Ball skill challenge to try at home | Mickey Quinn gives some lovely and very challenging ideas of what to do with a ball to improve your ball handling skills at home. Some can be practiced from your wheelchair but others will need adapting.