Core Strength and Concentration: Occupational Therapy groups help kids learn

Does your child struggle to pay attention? Do you have an active kid who just can’t sit still? Do your child’s teachers comment that your child could do much better if only they could concentrate? Children’s occupational therapists in Sydney’s northern beaches have developed an innovative and affordable new group program that helps kids aged 8-13 to develop the Core Strength they need to concentrate at home and school…


Does your child …..

  • Have difficulty sitting still?
  • Have poor handwriting?
  • Find it hard to pay attention in class?
  • Slouch when they sit or try to study?
  • Lack confidence in playground games?
  • Struggle to coordinate left and right play ball games and ride a bike?
  • Lose interest and focus at homework time?

These are all the signs that your child doesn’t have the core strength needed for optimum success in the classroom and playground.

What is Core Strength?

The ‘Core’ is the term given to the deep postural muscles that make up the trunk of your child’s body.

These muscles are the ones that allow your child to stay balanced and sit up straight for extended periods of time.

They are the muscles your child uses to sit still in one spot and control their movements when completing handwriting tasks.

Poor Core Strength can affect your child’s learning

Kids who don’t have much core strength often move around a lot. They find it hard to hold their body in a stable position so that they can concentrate and learn.

Children with poor Core Strength are often described as active kids with dreadful handwriting, short attention spans and ‘sloppy ‘ postures.

This is because their muscles aren’t strong enough to ‘hold’ in one position for long and so they jiggle, wobble and lounge around in an effort to get comfortable.

While they’re doing this, they get distracted, find it hard to finish a task and often give less than their best.

Sometimes they even give up because the task they’re trying to complete just takes too long and is too much of a hassle.

Sometimes, and particularly as they move into high school, they also have a ‘that’ll do’ attitude to their schoolwork.

How does building Core Strength help?
Just like an adult who needs to go for a run or do a yoga class before they can feel ‘centred’ and ready for their busy day, your child could also benefit from physical activity that engages their body and calms their mind.

However, not all activity is equal in the Core Strength stakes.

Sending your child into the backyard to play chasings may be active, but it’s not the kind of strengthening exercise they will need to ‘switch’ their brain on at homework time.

In fact, it’s more likely to ‘rev’ them up than calm them down.

To learn how to ‘switch’ their body and brain on, your child needs an expert with years of experience in building kids’ Core Strength and supporting their Sensory Processing.

That’s where Kids First’s Occupational Therapists come in.

Core Strength & Concentration Groups for kids

Kids First’s Core Strength & Concentration groups help primary and junior high schoolers to harness their energy so that they can learn more effectively.

Our weekly small groups take place after school and will give your child the chance to enjoy games and exercises that strengthen their core muscles and enhance their ability to focus and attend to tasks.

Core Strength & Concentration groups offer practical support and strategies that work.

Each week one of Kids First’s experienced paediatric Occupational Therapists will teach your child the skills and exercises that you can implement at home to support your child’s learning and school performance.

How old does my child need to be to join a Core Strength & Concentration group?
This is an active program that is best suited to children in Year 3 to Year 8.

Kids First offers Core Strength & Concentration groups for different age groups so  your child will be grouped with other children who have similar needs and abilities

Are rebates available?
If your private health fund covers Occupational Therapy, rebates may be available. Please check with your fund.

Kids First also offers the convenient HICAPS service which allows you to claim on-the-spot rebates.

Can my child join a Core Strength & Concentration Group?

To make sure that this group is the right clinical option for your child, you’ll need to bring your child to Kids First for 45 minute screening assessment with an Occupational Therapist before being accepted into a weekly group program.

Enrollments for Core Strength & Concentration groups in 2015 are open now.

With a maximum of four children in each group, places are limited and book our quickly.

For more information and to book a screening session for your child, call Kids First Children’s Services now on (02) 9938 5419 or complete the inquiry form below and we will contact you to discuss your child’s needs.

We’re here to support you and your child - no matter what.

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