Place a well cushioned mat beneath the Airwalker.
Always supervise child or children in the Airwalker. Adjust the height so child can get in and out of it easily.
Child may face the Airwalker and put knee or foot in first. Pull with arms to bring body to the center
Prevent flopping out by instructing child to step out feet first
Both therapists and teachers love using the Airwalker because it is so good at promoting sensory integration, coordination, muscular strength and spatial awareness. The Airwalker is a specially designed, Spandex sack that can be suspended from either a properly installed ceiling bolt, a swing, or a gymnasium basketball backboard. The Airwalker has a resistant, cocoon-like fabric which provides a total body pressure that, not only feels good, but also gives tactile feedback that contributes to positive body image and self-esteem. Being suspended creates a heightened relationship to gravity, which stimulates the vestibular system responsible for balance and coordination. The Airwalker shields the child from being seen by others creating a feeling of safety fertile ground for creative play. The elasticity and strong support can help build muscle strenght through specific exercises described in this guide. The versatility of Airwalker promotes positive body movement experiences that instill self confidence, risk taking, and motivation. Plus, it’s fun! Children may be totally enwrapped, laid out flat, sitting, standing, or with another adult or child inside.
Adjust the height of Airwalker so it is easily accessible from the ground and your feet can just touch the ground. Sit half-way back into the fabric so your legs are bent with feet near the floor. Use one leg, then the other, then both, to push and bounce off the ground. Variation: If your Airwalker is close to a wall you can swing and push off the wall with your feet. Variation: Stand in Airwalker, hold up high on fabric, and use your legs and arms to bounce while standing.
Lie flat out, face down to the floor, using the material like a sling around your torso. Your hands should touch the floor. Bend and stretch your elbows to push the floor away while the Airwalker supports your body.
Abdominal and Torso Strength and Flexion
In the push-up sling position, alternately jackknife and arch backwards creating torso flexion and extension. Then "fishflop" side to side creating lateral flexion. Moving against the resistant fabric will build strength and elasticity in the muscles.
From a sitting position, hold edge of fabric with both hands, lean back slowly while wrapping legs around fabric. Slowly return using abdominal and torso strength. This can be performed close to the floor or in mid-air.
Around The World
Adjust height so you can stand on floor and bring upper body through sling so it wraps around the chest and under arms. Keep your feet in the center like a compass point and make a full circle around by leaning your body forward, keeping it absolutely straight, and pushing with your legs. Try using one leg as the compass point. variation: try looping your arms through the Airwalker, or harder yet, hold it with one arm hooked over, while performing "Around the World".
In the "Around the World" position use your legs to run, push, and squat while you "fly" through the room. Adjust the height of Airwalker so you can lift your legs and feet without bumping the floor. Airwalker From sitting straddle use your arms to pull to standing placing each foot on fabric edge. Once balanced, you can walk on air or "see saw" pushing forward and back into the fabric.
Instruct or assist child in sitting up and bringing both legs out of fabric so that they are straddling it. Child holds on with hands and may rock forward and back by pressing and pushing body into fabric. Adjust height closer to floor so child can bounce by pushing floor with legs and feet
Two In The Sack
Put two children sitting back to back in the Airwalker. Instruct them to shift positions together so they feel each others weight and make necessary adaptations to remain in balance. Allow them to experiment finding ways to counterbalance each other while they change to different positions
Around The World Tag
Child performs around the world movement while trying to tag others as they run by.
Two Headed Tag
First child gets in fish flop position. Assist second child to get in fish flop position with head and arms coming out the other end and legs and feet straddling bottom child. Once positioned they can either try to tag the other child's arms or use two soft, small Slo-Mo balls to tag the other.
On Top Of The World
While enwrapped in Airwalker place a medium to large size Slo-Mo ball underneath child so that they can work at finding a balance point sitting or lying on the ball. A more advanced version is to use the Airwalker as a sling under arms and chest while trying to stand and move feet on the ball. variation: beginning unicycle riders can use Airwalker as a sling around chest and under arms to begin finding the moving balance point.