Rainbow Gym

Rainbow Gym is a specific, targeted intervention which aims to address gross motor and fine motor difficulties identified during the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy assessment process.




Rainbow Gym is a specific, targeted intervention which aims to address gross motor and fine motor difficulties identified during the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy assessment process, whilst empowering children and parents in a supportive environment to become the experts in managing their own needs.

The activities which comprise Rainbow Gym are based on core elements which children with motor difficulties often present with weaknesses in. In addition, children are provided with an opportunity to focus on specific goals identified by them within the programme.

The programme has been designed to enable therapists to facilitate, monitor and adapt the activities utilised within Rainbow Gym, which ensures a child-centred, individualised approach is used at all times. This can involve moving children up through the programme at a faster/slower rate; spending a longer period of time working on specific functional tasks; or adding in additional homework activities.

Whilst therapists provide support on a weekly basis, there is a specific emphasis on the parents and children completing the activities together with a view to promoting greater self-management for the future. The aim is for them to feel confident to apply the skills involved in grading tasks at home, so they can help set the “just right” challenge for their children.

All the equipment used within Rainbow Gym has been chosen specifically as it is user friendly and easy to replicate at home, thereby further supporting parents to apply their skills and knowledge within their home environment.

Downloadable Mission Statement


Rules to be adhered to each time you and your child attend Rainbow Gym.

  • Scooter boards, wobble boards and the team walker are pieces of equipment which are potentially dangerous. Please ensure that your child does not stand on the scooter boards or jump on to wobble boards. Please closely supervise your child at all times when using these pieces of equipment.
  • As there are many items of equipment laid out around the gym, it is very important that your child does not run around unsupervised.
  • As there are many children attending at the one time, please always be aware of other children and their parent/guardian working around you

Downloadable Safety Rules

Criteria Checklist

The referral criteria checklist should be completed before completing a referral to Rainbow Gym. If the answers to the referral criteria checklist are "no" then you should consider task oriented interview with a Therapist or Support Worker.


Referral Form

Complete all sections of referral form.

The aim of Rainbow Gym is to develop your child’s gross motor and fine skills while increasing your understanding of your child’s difficulties and giving you ideas of activities you can do at home to promote their development. Your child will also complete targeted work on the goals they identified with the therapy team.

A parent or carer is required to attend with the child every week. You will work through a programme of activities with your child.

There are seven different programmes and the one which is most suitable for your child to start on will be chosen by a member of the therapy team. When your child is ready they will be moved onto the next programme. Each programme has a list of specific activities your child should complete.

You will work round the different coloured stations set up around the room. Each station works on a specific skill. You should complete the different activities that are set out in your child’s programme.

Information for children:
Rainbow Gym runs every week. Coming to Rainbow Gym will help you to get stronger muscles, stronger hands and be able to get better at things like jumping, balancing and handwriting.

There are different programmes and you will do some of the programmes for up to three weeks. When you are ready one of the Rainbow Gym Therapists will move you up to the next programme.

There are different coloured stations set up around the room. You should complete the different activities that are set out on your programme sheet. Each week you will start out with a group warm up and then you will be sent off to the stations.

Only complete the activities that you have been asked to do.

Your personal trainer (the adult who came with you) will help you to do the activities and will write up your programme sheet. They will also write down how you are managing with the activities, you can ask them to write down how you think you are getting on. It will take you about 30 – 45 minutes to complete your programme at Rainbow Gym.

Each week the Therapy Team will give you home challenges to do at home every night. It’ll be a bit like homework but more fun!

Remember to:
• Bring a change of shoes (trainers or gym shoes are best)
• Wear suitable clothes
• Bring a bottle of water (you might get hot!)
• Bring your inhaler if you have one
• Bring your homework sheet back

Rainbow Gym Stations

Light Blue Station: Fine Motor
This aims to work on your child’s hand strength, in hand manipulation and dexterity all of which are key elements in the development of fine motor skills that allow us to carry out skilled hand tasks.

Orange Station: Core Stability and Body Awareness
This aims to work on trunk control and where your body is in space. While working this will help improve your child’s ability to sit, play, write and know where their body is while doing this.

Purple Station: Upper Body Strength
This refers to developing strength in your child’s shoulder girdle, upper back and trunk and all the muscles in the upper limbs.

Green Station: Bilateral Integration & Crossing the Midline
This is a foundation of co-ordination between right and left sides of the body, mature hand dominance and effective two-handed co-ordination. Crossing the midline is the ability to cross one side of the body over to the other. Difficulties with bilateral integration can impact on use of knife and fork together, tying shoe laces and handwriting.

Dark Blue Station: Balance
This is the ability to move from a stable to an unstable position and to maintain a position. Static balance is the ability to keep still and dynamic balance is the ability to move through space.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should we wear?
It is really important that both you and are your child bring indoor shoes to change into. You should wear comfortable clothing for physical activities. Changing facilities are available.

Should we bring anything else?
You may want to bring a bottle of water for both you and your child. If you or your child requires an inhaler you should bring that with you along with any other appropriate medication.

How will we know what to do?
There will be Therapy Staff available each week to answer any questions you may have. On the first week you attend one of the therapist will go through the programme with you so that you know what you and your child will have to do.

What about siblings?
Unfortunately, there are no facilities to accommodate other children. Only one adult should attend with your child.

What if I cannot attend to support my child?
Any adult who knows your child well can come along to support them. It would be beneficial if the same adult could attend every week for consistency. If you would find it difficult to complete the activities with your child (for example because of a medical condition) please let us know ASAP or arrange for someone else to accompany your child. Therapy staff will be able to support with individual activities but will not be able to carry out the programme with your child.

How long will the session last?
It depends on you and your child. On average it takes around 30-45 minutes to complete the programme.

If you have any questions please contact the Occupational Therapy department


Warm up exercises should be complete at the beginning of each Rainbow Gym session.


Downloadable Warm Up Exercises



**need generic homework that cover all Rainbow Gyms**

**can add in home pack for children who have completed Rainbow Gym**

1. Raindrops

2. Lightning Bolts

3. Snowflakes

4. Hailstones

5. Sunbeams

6. Rainbows


Following completion of Rainbow Gym


Child Questionnaire

We would really like to gain feedback from children regarding their experience of Rainbow Gym. The following questions are designed to be completed independently by your child or if more appropriate, through discussion between yourself and your child. We very much value feedback from the children that we work with as this helps the service to continue to provide a fun, interactive and engaging intervention.


Parent Questionnaire

To ensure that we are providing effective support for our families that attend Rainbow Gym, we greatly appreciate your feedback on your experience of attending the programme. The questions below are designed to gather information about the service which you received and will assist in ensuring that families continue to experience the benefits of attending Rainbow Gym in the future. 


?? Give access and contact numbers for each Rainbow Gym

?? After Rainbow Gym


Home activity pack