Why is playing on vertical surfaces important?
Playing on vertical surfaces improves the strength and stability of the shoulder girdle muscles. Smaller muscles in the arms and hands work more efficiently when supported by a strong and stable base. Good upper body strength and shoulder girdle stability will help your child to cut with scissors and to write without getting tired or producing messy work.
The use of vertical surfaces allow children to use bigger arm movements that encourage strength in muscles and joints of the upper extremities. Bilateral integration is encouraged by writing or tracing on an upright surface. When a child is playing or drawing across a large vertical surface, they have to cross the body midline to reach all of the spaces. Crossing the body midline will help them to develop hand dominance later on.
Try these fun activities in kneeling, standing or while sitting down.
Shaving cream fun: let your child play with shaving cream on the mirror or tiles while in the bath tub. Make big circles with both arms. This can also be done on the sliding door if you prefer the mess to be outside.
Stick stickers, pompoms or any object that looks like fun on a piece of paper against the wall.
Stick masking tape ‘roads’ against the wall or sliding door and let your child drive with his/her cars on the roads.
Play with magnets on the fridge.