How A Slide Helps Our 10 Month Old Develop Abs Of Steel

When you start to think about the muscles it takes to do everyday tasks it will start to blow your mind.

When you have a child with hypotonia, you realize this every day. Simple things we do every day, like sitting, requires core and back strength, along with balance and coordination of muscles. It’s hard work!

Physical Therapy Helps Our Son Break Bad Habits

One of the goals of our therapy sessions is not to just reach milestones, but to avoid bad habits that can form due to hypotonia. There are a lot of bad habits that can happen with sitting, but when Noah sits nice and straight with his legs not in the splits, I see the payoff of all his hard work.

Like I mentioned in the peek-a-boo post, the play of childhood helped us develop a lot of our muscles. I may not have realized what the swing set was doing for me when I spent countless hours playing on it as a child, but now I see it as a powerful developmental tool that help children learn to grow and develop.. Who knew.

Noah’s First Slide


Today our son got to go on a slide for the first time. Woo hoo! It was awesome, although It wasn’t how I envisioned my child would go down a slide for the first time. We weren’t:


or in a park….

or having playtime…

We were at therapy; using the slide as a exercise machine to take his core workout to the next level! Who would have ever thought? This journey is full of wonderful surprises. 🙂


The reason Noah’s therapists use the slide is because when going down a slide you have to hold yourself up against gravity. Not only that, but they stop him halfway down to help him engage those ab muscles, which in turn help him learn to sit up independently, and stay there.

As usual, Noah’s abs continue to be stronger than mine. He rocked the slide, and I think that he probably had a little fun on his way down.

What toys of your childhood have you found new uses for with your child?

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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. maddison jacobs says

    love that face of what was that  lol he will be sliding down a slide outside before long  hes doing  so great  love watching him learn stuff

  2. Sithlordswife says

    Great message for those who want to take recess away from kids, kids are still hard at “work” when they are using swings and slides!

    • Totally agree! Kids need all the physical activity they can get. If anything we should take milkshakes away instead of recess. 🙂
      How old are your children?

  3. Bonnie Scott says

    Great story, I will ask Aiden’s PT to try him with that.  They use the exercise ball with him to develope his core. 

  4. Nancyhowson says

    I am an early childhood educator and I am a private caregiver for a little boy with downs syndrome the simplest things that we take for granted can do so much for their overall development 

  5. Karenshutts says

    Noah is just too cute,can’t get much cuter than that!

  6. Melissa Basso says

    Noah is such a little man… his expressions are priceless!!! love it… cant wait until little michael is this strong. We get closer and closer everyday!!! Noah, again, my inspiration!!!

  7. I’m an ECE too and a Developmental Specialist- one of my clients has DS and she learned to go down the BIG slide this year! ( In September she’d get a quarter of the way down and be flat on her back.) We also love the trampoline- using a small one with a handle bar she learned to jump this winter- so now we can use the big one together instead of me just bouncing her around! And stairs- those pesky stairs. All that core strength helped her learn to walk up and down ( the much harder one) a huge flight of stairs all by herself! We’ve reached lots of goals this year with her core strength- just in time for her 4th Birthday! And we did it all through play!

    • Noah's Mom, MD says

      I am sure you will see a trampoline in our house in the next few years 🙂  Thanks for sharing your victories with your patient.  She sounds like she is doing fantastic

      • Really??? This is news to me? I thought trampolines were off limits in our house. 🙂

        • The small ones with the handlebar was the key for us! If we put her on a normal trampoline (big or small) she’d just wait for us to jump her. With the handle bar I was free to jump on my own on the floor to model, and she still had the stability to try it herself. Once she figured out the whole bend-knees-push-up bit she was unstoppable. Now she’s jumping all the time- independently!

  8. Play is powerful no matter our ability or our age. Thanks for providing a peek into Noah’s progress.

  9. Katie and Abigail. says

    AWESOME!!!! I will have to start Sliding with our Abigail 🙂

  10. Interesting and informative post!

    “Physical therapy helps our son develop bad habits”?  I thought the goal of PT was to prevent bad habits from forming… 😉

    • Noah's Mom, MD says

      I said to avoid bad habits 🙂 Thanks for looking out for me, I miss so many of my errors.  

      • I think you’re fabulous and Noah’s Dad dot com was probably the best site I have ever come across. I am learning so much and have your family to thank for that.  Bright Blessings to you and yours, -Twig.

  11. Evelyn Dunham says

    Just way to cute. Lol

  12. In Malaysia, when I was growing up – we used to play a lot of things that actually helped develop our tactile stimulation (congkak – By the touch of our palms we have to know how many more stones or shells we have in our hands. And according to the link I gave you, the player also needs to do some mental calculation to plan the steps in advance. Another game which helped with our development as well was ‘batu seremban’ a five stones game. This helped a lot with hand-eye coordination. I definitely would want to introduce these games to my son, notwithstanding the fact that it was usually girls who played it last time. Love your blog! And thanks for sharing Noah with us. 🙂

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