Noah Rides An Elephant At Physical Therapy – Take Two

Our son who was born with down syndrome using the inflatable elephant at physical therapy

This elephant is helping him get stronger!

Inflatable elephants are awesome

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are Noah’s weekly physical therapy days (I feel like I deserve my own parking spot at Our Children’s House at Baylor by now.)  It’s always to fun seeing the many different tools the therapists use to give variety to baby Noah’s therapy sessions.  The last few weeks they have been using this really cool inflatable elephant.  Besides just looking fun it helps him develop much-needed core strength, and balance.  Noah is only six and a half months old so he is still learning how all of his different muscles work together.  One of the things he is trying to figure out in this stage of his life is sitting up (his current sitting record is 30 seconds by the way.)  It’s so fun watching him work so hard to sit (and stay) up.  However, he has a tendency to push his bottom forward when he is sitting, which causes him to fall backwards.  The elephant is designed to keep a baby like Noah from pushing himself forward.  It accomplishes this in two ways; 1) his sitting position, (which is very close to the neck of the elephant) and 2) the position of the elephants ears (which allow him to grab and hold on to in order to keep his balance.)

The Rody Inflatable Hopping Horse

A fun tool for children with down syndrome rody inflatable hopping horse

It's no elephant, but it's just as fun!

After seeing how well Noah did on the inflatable elephant the last time he used it, I really wanted to get him one to use at home.  The one used by the physical therapists is very expensive since it has to be purchased from a medical supply company.  However, after talking with some other families who have children born with down syndrome I found out about the Rody Inflatable Hopping Horse.  The word “inflatable” threw me off since the one used at the physical therapist office seemed to be made of a really hard plastic, and not “inflatable.”  But, after looking closer at the one used by the therapists, it actually is inflatable.  (It sort of reminds me of those big rubber balls you can sit on and ride. It’s not like a balloon or anything.)  The price is much cheaper on amazon, and looks to be the same quality as the more expensive version.  I ordered one today, and will post a review after we get a chance to use it.  This looks like a great, fun, and fairly inexpensive tool for anyone who wants to help their baby develop some core strength.


Noah rocking it at physical therapy

Our little boy is getting strong at physical therapy

He gets cuter (and stronger) by the day.

Our son is getting strong at physical therapy

He makes working out look good...!

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About Rick Smith

Hi, I'm Noah's Dad and I'm passionate about giving the world a window into our life as we raise our son who was born with Down syndrome. I also enjoy connecting with other families, so let's stay connected.


  1. chastity mcbryde says

    the horse looks really cool, added to my ‘wishlist’. since we have some time, will wait on your review. since we have lots of older children that pass through – would love to know what the age/weight restrictions are.

  2. Dustin Blodgett says

    My son also has DS (he’s 17 months now) and we also have a Rody. It’s great for building trunk strength and is just plain fun. The smaller one (like in the pic) is supposed to hold up to 250 lbs or some crazy number like that. And I can tell you that, although I didn’t fit on it well, it held my 150lbs just fine. We’ve had several older kids (up to 10yo) to our house and they have all liked playing with it and riding it. Our dog was a little nervous around it at first, but she doesn’t mind it now. 🙂 I hope you guys get a lot of use out of yours.

    Dustin (Dane’s dad)

    • Dustin,

      That’s awesome! I can’t believe this little thing holds that much weight. I’d never thought. The physical therapist sure does like them though. I’d love to see pictures / videos of Dane having some fun! Do you guys have a blog or anything?

      I’m glad you came by and commented.

      By the way… you have a gravatar?? —->

  3. Joseph, thanks so much! We really appreciate the kind, and encouraging words!

  4. Your photos are awesome. Makes me so proud to be a pediatric physical therapist when I see how excited you are about Noah’s progress.

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