Southpaw Enterprises
February 2012
Product Spotlight 
Southpaw Resistance Tunnel

Southpaw Resistance Tunnels

Challenge your clients with heavy work while developing body awareness and motor planning. As your client pushes a therapy ball or other large object through the tunnel, he/she will experience varying degrees of resistance and deep-touch input. Made out of a ribbed cotton knit, lycra, and nylon combination, the tunnel also has reinforced handles for you to hold and pull. Tunnel comes in 10' or 15' in length. Colors may vary.

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Therapy Talk
Deanna Maciole
Tunneling Your Child's Energy
Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR/L
As parents and therapists, we often find we fall into a bit of a "rut" doing the same things day in and out. It is hard to find fun, creative activities for our children or clients, especially during these winter months.  Most children are itching for Spring to arrive and begin bouncing off the walls with energy to expend.  So, as we trudge through the final months of winter, we are going to take a look at a piece of equipment that can be used easily in your home, clinic, or school environment: a tunnel.

Tunnels are found in various sizes, lengths, and fabrics and offer some nice therapeutic benefits, as well as are a great way to expend energy.  Tunnels provide small spaces for children who crave those dark, quiet areas.  In addition, they enable children to improve their motor planning, bilateral coordination, and direction following skills, while providing a good source of proprioceptive input

By having children crawl in and out of tunnels, a child is receiving proprioceptive input throughout both upper and lower extremities.  In addition, the crawling movements encourage bilateral coordination through reciprocal use of arms and legs. and addresses motor planning skills.  You can increase the proprioceptive input by having a child push a ball through the tunnel. This particularly beneficial with the use of a Resistance Tunnel, and also challenges their coordination skills.  Children can be challenged to negotiate through the tunnel in various ways, from belly crawling, backwards crawling on hands and knees or in a crab walking position.  

Tunnels are a great addition to any obstacle course.  And how you place the tunnel can increase the challenge and amount of work a child has to do.  For example, by placing the tunnel over a Cloud Nine, pillows or up a ramp, a child will have to utilize different muscles, increase their motor planning abilities, while receiving increased amounts of proprioceptive input.  In addition, you can set up different activities using the tunnel increasing the number repetitions.  This can be achieved by placing puzzle pieces, pegs, or Mr. Potato Head pieces, for example, at one opening.  Then have the child go and retrieve the items crawling back to the opposite end of the tunnel to complete the activity.

And you do not have to run to the store or log onto your computer to purchase a tunnel for your home.  There are many ways to achieve making a tunnel out some common household objects.  Put a blanket over a coffee table forming a darkened tunnel that will encourage a child to belly crawl under the table.  You can also form a path by arranging couch cushions in an upright position, allowing children to try and crawl between them without knocking them down.   Find a large box or attach several various sized boxes for your child to crawl through.  This option also provides a way for your child to let out some creative energy by decorating the boxes with crayons and markers.

So, now is the to re-energize and allow your creative juices to flow.  Pull those tunnels out of the closets or build one in your home, and expend some winter energy.

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