Tractor Tread

By Activity Bank on Dec 04, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Kathy Heydt and Monica Allon and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

This activity uses the motion of crawling to work on muscle strength, weight shifting, and increased proximal stability, the ability to use the extremities while maintaining core stability. It improves the ability for students to use playground and exercise equipment, and to participate in recreational sports activities. Lessons include Adapted Physical Education and Orientation and Mobility.


Large cardboard box open on two sides, toy bowling pins, foam blocks, pillows, empty plastic soda bottles, empty cereal boxes, paper bags


  • Put the cardboard box on the floor so that it’s open on both sides.
  • Ask the student to climb into the box, now positioned as though it were a tractor tread.
  • The student can then move the box by crawling forward or backward.
  • Provide a target for the student to knock over such as: toy bowling pins, a pillow stack, empty plastic soda bottles, empty cereal boxes, paper bags.
  • Provide assistance as needed.


  • Vary surface under the box (e.g. small pillows, beanbags, small stuffed animals).
  • Provide a sound source to travel toward.

Hints: Guard against the student falling or bumping into obstacles. You may want to perform these activities on a safe surface such as an exercise mat.