In it, we will share everything that excites fathers regarding the parenting of a child with Down syndrome. Games, upbringing, difficulties, happy moments… through the eyes of the man in the family. Dear fathers of children with Down syndrome, the column is open for you! If you are ready and want to share your experience, excitement, worries, joys and whatever else you wish, write to us or send us a photo or video of you and your child. Let’s support each other, let’s motivate each other to raise and raise our children in a happy family! The male perspective is important, the father role is invaluable!
In today’s edition of the Dad’s Column, I introduce you to the balloon game and its benefits for the child with Down syndrome.
I buy balloons to play with either from PEPCO (the last time there was a promotion – 50 balloons for 2 BGN = 4 cents per balloon) or from Kaufland (there I buy a big package of balloons, again about 50-60 pieces, for 7 BGN, I think). I also bought a balloon pump from Kaufland so that Vyara or one of the grandmothers can inflate them more easily if they play with them. The pump was priced at BGN 7, as I recall.
Balloon game and its benefits
Balloons are very beneficial for play and development of your child with special needs.
Let’s go through the activities with them one by one.
Blowing up a balloon with your mouth
Blowing up a balloon with your mouth is a great exercise for developing oral motor skills. It develops and strengthens the muscles of the mouth, tongue and cheeks – all of which are related to the child’s speech. That’s why it’s important to use this. At the beginning of Vyara it was difficult for her to blow up a balloon with her mouth, but I constantly showed her (the personal example) and let her try. Right now, she can pout somewhat. The fact is that there is progress, but it takes time, persistence and patience.
Inflating a balloon with a pump
If your child is young and finds it difficult to blow up a balloon with his mouth yet, encourage him to try. But the other option is to inflate the balloon with a pump. This is significantly easier and again has a good effect for him – it develops hand muscles and hand-eye coordination. Vira is already excellent at blowing up balloons and is very happy. Then he lets them fly, and after they fall, he inflates them again. What’s better than that? 🙂
A game with the colors of the balloons
The next stage is, after you have inflated a few balloons, to start playing with the child’s recognition and feeding of the colors of the balloons.
Even if the child knows the colors well, children with Down syndrome should be “maintained” with daily memory exercises, because they often forget and their knowledge can fade. So you can say the color of the balloon and have the child repeat it after you, or ask him which balloon is which color. Be creative and enthusiastic – the game can become very fun and emotional. For example, when hitting a balloon in the air, shouting: “Green!” Try it. The coupon is guaranteed. 🙂
Soccer with several balloons
You blow up a few balloons – I think three is best, but you can try more. Balloons are very light and not dangerous – you can do this at home, in your living room. The goal is to “hand” the child three balloons and have them kick them back to you. Because there is not one balloon, but three – the difficulty increases. It becomes a nice little chaos. This exercise improves the child’s concentration, again eye-foot coordination and quickness of reaction. The muscles work and it becomes a lot of fun. An alternative option is to do this not with your feet but with your hands – again a very good option.
Volleyball with balloons
This game is Mama Nadia’s patent. She showed it to Vyara for the first time – how to hit the balloons from below with the hand. The benefit is again hand-eye concentration work, and you can enrich by counting each stroke while keeping the balloon in the air. They managed to pass each other the balloon that day until 11 without dropping it on the ground! 🙂 This is how you practice numbers and counting.
All these activities are accompanied with a lot of humor and you will see that the next time your child will want to play with balloons.
We wish you the best of luck and would love it if you could send us your feedback as well as ideas dads have come up with and are practicing with their kids.