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Upper Body Strength

Why Upper Body Strength is Important

  • Developing stability at the shoulder joint and in our core musculature is the essential first step in the development of complex fine motor skills required for activities such as cutting with scissors and writing.

  • We need adequate core strength in order to maintain an appropriate upright seated posture while seated at a table.

  • Sports Participation

Fun Activities for Development of Upper Body Strength

1. Gravity resistive sticker activity

  • Lay underneath table- put a pillow or blanket to make more comfortable- and tape paper under table. Have the child place stickers on paper.

2. Coloring on vertical surface

3. Shaving cream on a mirror or window

4. Engage in these activities while weight bearing through your arms or elbows

  • Books, sticker books, Puzzles, Color, board games and card games

5. Scooter board activities

  • Body bowling- set up cardboard blocks or empty shoe boxes and have the child keep arms out like superman to knock them over!

  • Quick grab- set small objects a little out of arms reach and sit behind child and push legs forward a quick second to grab the items quickly before pulling them back.

  • Have child pull a rope to propel an adult on a scooter

  • Crazy driver- put painters’ tape on the ground and have child stay on the road with zigzags and turns.


1. “Learning Ideas on Windows and Glass Doors.” The OT Toolbox, 2015,

2. Drobnjak, Lauren. “Prone Position: 14 Fun Activities for Kids.” The Inspired Treehouse, 2017,

3. “10 Fun Upper Body Exercises for Kids.” Your Therapy Source, 2014,

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