How Tree Fu Tom is designed to help your child

The Tree Fu Tom spells are designed to assist in the development of 12 key physical and neurological skills.

Tree Fu Tom

The 12 Skills/Abilities are:

Tree Fu Tom online has been designed to encourage children of all abilities to develop the skills that are essential for classroom learning. The games include three different levels of difficulty so that all young children can play and challenge themselves.

Balance

This is the ability to hold a position without falling over. The two types of balance are static balance and dynamic balance. Static balance refers to our ability to hold a position when we are still, for example when sitting on a chair or when standing in a line. Dynamic balance refers to our ability to hold a position when we are moving around, for example when climbing stairs or running.

Trunk rotation

This is the ability to hold the lower body still whilst turning the upper body to the side. It allows children to twist their body to reach to the side and is important for activities such as throwing a ball and crawling.

Shoulder stability

This is the ability of the muscles to hold the shoulder joint steady. It allows the arms to be held in different positions so that the hands can be used for activities such as writing and using cutlery.

Pelvic stability

This is the ability of the muscles to hold the pelvis steady. It is important for sitting, standing and moving around and also affects control of the hands for activities such as reaching.

Trunk/arm separation

This is the ability to move the arm in a controlled and accurate manner away from the body. It is affected by shoulder and trunk stability and is important for activities such as pouring a drink and throwing a ball.

Trunk/leg separation

This is the ability to move the legs in a controlled and accurate manner away from the body. It is affected by pelvic and trunk stability and is important for activities such as kicking a ball and pedalling a bike.

Fluency of movements

This is the ability to move the body in a smooth and controlled manner. It is important for activities such as drawing, running and spreading butter onto toast.

Proprioception

This is the ability to sense where the body is in space and how it is moving without looking. It is generated by feedback from the muscles and joints and helps us to sit squarely on a chair and to move around our environment without bumping into people and objects. It also helps us to know how much force we are using so that we can carefully pick up objects and pour a drink.

ATNR

The asymmetrical tonic neck reflex (ATNR) is sometimes known as the “fencing response” and describes the movements of a baby’s arms and legs when their face turns to one side. It is useful in babies as it helps with the development of hand-to-eye coordination, but if it remains in older children it can affect their ability to bring their two hands together, to keep hold of an object whilst looking around a room, and postural stability, for example when children are seated at a school desk.

Spatial Concepts

This refers to the child’s awareness of how their body moves in relation to their position in space, and where objects are in relation to their body. It is important for understanding diagrams and directions (for example up, down, into and away from the body), and for activities such as pulling a jumper over the head and scooping food onto a spoon.

Midline crossing

This is the ability to move one hand or foot across the middle of the body to carry out an activity. It is important for developing hand/foot dominance and for activities such as pulling on a coat and writing across a page.

Fine motor skills

This is the ability to use the hands, fingers and thumbs in a precise and controlled manner. This is important for holding and manipulating objects such as pencils and cutlery.

To find out more, visit the Tree Fu Tom website , or visit the Tree Fu Tom programme page.

Further support articles:

Tree Fu Tom: Developing Movement Skills

Tree Fu Tom: How Tree Fu Is Designed To Help Your Child

Tree Fu Tom: Developing Skills For Classroom Learning

Tree Fu Tom: Behind The Spells

Playing CBeebies Webcam Games

The Dyspraxia Foundation

Print this article

Want more fun?

See all fun activities