Since a lot of pediatric physical therapists tend to travel between patients' homes or between schools, we have to get creative with less equipment.  

So here is one tip on how I use a yoga mat in a variety of ways.

Painter's tape: I like to use the standard blue painter's tape.  

I like it because it is easier to remove than duct tape and can be taped to most surfaces without doing any damage.

Fun duct tape: I got this fun gummi bears one and a green one so all my kiddos would like it

Yoga mat

Some towels or shirts or any soft item

1. Make it a roll for tummy time.

pediatric physical therapy

You can change the height of the roll if you roll it up length wise vs width wise.

Then hold it in place using the painter's tape. 

You can also place a towel on the yoga mat and roll it up inside the yoga mat if you would like a wider roll.

2. Make it an uneven surface to practice walking, crawling or rolling over, sitting and standing balance, and body awareness.

pediatric physical therapy yoga mat

I use towels or shirts or soft toys under the mat for different height obstacles.

3. Make it a raised balance beam by rolling it length wise and holding it in place with painter's tape.


A raised balance beam can be a useful item to practice either walking on top of or stepping over. 

pediatric physical therapy yoga mat

You can have a child practice walking forward on the beam and also step sideways across the beam.


4. Make it a raised obstacle to step over by keeping it in the rolled up shape from #3 and then folding it into a smaller rectangle shape. 

pediatric physical therapy yoga mat

I like using raised obstacles to help my patients learn to pay attention to proper foot placement during walking, as well as to encourage them to take a larger step during gait. 

pediatric physical therapy yoga mat

Walking with larger steps helps to improve balance on one leg since the larger the step you take, the more time you are spending standing on one leg.


5. Make it be any path you want your patient to make by using the duct tape.

pediatric physical therapy yoga mat

I pre-tape the duct tape to itself and then tape it to the mat with painter's tape so I can reuse my strips for other treatment sessions. 

I like to have precut shapes and then let my patients decide where to place them in order to give them more ownership over their treatment sessions.

You can then have your patient pick what path they want to do, or help you make a new path with duct tape.

You can also use it to practice jumping from section to section, or for standing balance while trying to stand in a shape.

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