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If you are looking for a fun activity that builds strength and motor skills, you cannot beat wheelbarrow walking. Weight bearing on the hands is a great way to promote upper extremity and core strength, and also provides great proprioceptive feedback. So everybody grab a partner and get moving!

Skill Areas Addressed (See Glossary):

  • Endurance
  • Gross motor skills
  • Motor control
  • Proprioception
  • Social skills
  • Strength
  • Trunk stability

What You Will Need:

  • An open space, buckets
  • Beanbags or other objects for relay race
  • Cones or other obstacles
  • A real wheelbarrow, if desired

What To Do:

  • Assign partners, 1 person to act as the "wheelbarrow" (walking on hands), and the other to act as the "farmer" (holding his partner's feet).
  • Put a bucket of beanbags at 1 end of your play space, and an empty bucket at the other end.
  • When you say "go," the farmer has to place a beanbag on his partner’s back and wheelbarrow walk to place it into the other bucket. When they get there, the partners switch and return for another beanbag.
  • Repeat until all beanbags have made it into the empty bucket. If you are playing with only 1 child, you will be the farmer the whole time.
Kids Wheelbarrow

 

How To Change It Up:

  • Set up some obstacles between the buckets (eg, cones, stools) for the partners to navigate around.
  • Set up your race course where there is a slope or unevenness to the ground to make it harder.
  • Try having the partners go backwards  to reach the other bucket (go slow—this is a big challenge).
  • Use a real wheelbarrow, and have kids take turns racing back and forth to transport beanbags, rocks, or leaves.
Walking with a Wheelbarrow

 

Explore More Activites Like This!

Explore more activities to promote development in children, and check out our health center for children.

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This content is provided in collaboration with The Inspired Treehouse and has been reviewed by the editorial board.

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