10 Activities for Children: Preventing Toe Walking

Children should walk in a heel-toe walking pattern to prevent putting unnatural pressure on their hips, knees, and lower back. If your child is above three years old and still toe walks, we recommend that you get proactive and present them with various activities that will lessen their toe walking habits. Here are ten beneficial exercises you can try at home:

1. Manual Stretches

Tight muscles are one of the leading causes of toe walking. Your child should lay on the floor as you do these two helpful stretches!

  • Try a calf stretch by taking your child’s foot and applying light pressure by pushing the foot toward their body. We recommend holding this position for fifteen seconds, switching to the other foot, and then returning to the first foot. It would be best if you went through the cycle twice!
  • Try a hamstring stretch by telling your kid to place both feet flat on the floor. They’ll still be lying down, but their knees will be positioned upward. While their opposite foot stays grounded on the floor, you will raise their other leg toward the sky. You should hold their foot up — and their leg should be relatively straight! It’s recommended that you hold this stretch for fifteen seconds. Switch sides and then do it again!

2. Downward Dog

The practise of yoga helps with stability, flexibility, and strength. We certainly don’t expect your young child to be a yogi — but practising the downward dog will significantly benefit their hips! Since many children walk on their toes partly due to hip tightness, various hip stretches will help loosen those muscles.

3. Squat and Play

If your young child wants to play with action figures or dolls on the floor, you can challenge them to squat while playing. They should have their heels planted to the floor as much as possible! While they’re playing with their toys low to the floor and in a squatting position, they will be participating in a deep calf stretch.

4. Scooter Play

Who said strengthening your child’s legs and ankles couldn’t be fun? You could opt to purchase sitting scooters for your child (and possibly their siblings or friends), so they can feel like they’re playing instead of rehabilitating. They should place their hands on the floor, heels on the ground, and toes in the air. They will have a blast floating around on their scooters!

You can find these fun scooters online or in-store near you. Your child can race or come up with their own games — the meaningful aspect is that the sitting scooters will strengthen their muscles!

5. Marching on the Spot

Put on some of your child’s favourite music and have them march to it! They need to bring their knees high and land with their feet flat on the ground. This activity will demonstrate how their feet should land on the floor with a heel-toe walking pattern.

6. Walk or Hike

We’re not suggesting going on a leisure walk or hike — you should find a walk or hike that has plenty of uphill slopes! The rugged slopes will provide a nice stretch to your child’s calves and Achilles tendons (and yours, too!). It will also force your child to firmly place their heels on the ground to propel themselves forward.

7. Play on Uneven Surfaces

Take your child to a sand-filled park or purchase a small sandpit! When a child who typically walks on the balls of their feet plays on uneven ground, they’re forced to utilize every part of their foot to navigate the bumpy terrain.

8. Stand on One Foot

This activity may sound silly, but challenging your child to stand on one foot will help them stretch their Achilles’s tendons and strengthen their ankles! It will also force them to work on their balance and stability. Once their ankles get more stable, they may be more willing to use a heel-toe walking pattern.

9. Wobble Cushion

You could opt to purchase a wobble cushion to encourage your child to boost their balance! They will be forced to use their heels to dig into the wobble cushionshowing them that they can stay stable while utilizing their heels!

10. Animal Activities

Lastly, their imagination can help them stop toe-walking! They could pretend they’re a crab while walking around with all fours on the ground. If they don’t want to be a crab, they can try becoming a penguin. Penguins should walk with their heels down and toes up — quite the opposite of their current walking pattern!

Want more information or guidance, connect with our team today!

For kids who hate exercises but love a story? Consider this:

Zippy Goes to the Carwash

A Home Exercise Plan for Toe Walking

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