by Bri Dandrea
The proprioception sense is when the muscles and joints inform the brain about the position of body parts. It’s knowing where your body is ‘in space’. Whenever we push, pull, or lift heavy things, this sense is stimulated by receptors all throughout the body. Children that have dysfunction of this sense may show behaviors or signs including but not limited to:
- Appearing to be more clumsy
- Appearing to have a higher energy level or activity level
- Falling out of their seat
- Too much force or not enough force when writing, cutting, or throwing
- Looks to crash into things
- Often fidget
- May like clothing to fit tightly
Below are at home activities using household items to help your child calm & organize their bodies.
Wrap up your child tightly in a blanket, towel, or sheet while they are standing (for a tighter feel you can use two blankets). Then have your child walk across the room without letting the blankets fall off. This should be completed in a large room where they have room to move without falling into objects. This is a great at-home activity to complete on those rainy or below freezing days.
Kneed the Dough
Have your child knead bread dough or playdough. This is good heavy work for fingers, hands, and arms. It is also fun to have the child help you make the playdough or dough. Here is a fun homemade playdough recipe. This website has a couple different types of playdough to try.
The Floor is Lava
Set up pillows or blankets for the kids to jump from ‘safe spot to safe spot.’ Jumping is a good form of heavy input and this game is a classic way to make heavy work fun. This can be completed indoors or outdoors depending on the weather. If outdoors, use pool noodles or a folded tarp.
All Types of Pushups
Make this a competition and see who can do the most push-ups in a 1 minute timeframe.
• regular push-ups
• knee push-ups
• wall push-ups
• couch push-ups (the child’s arms are on the floor with their feet on the couch)
• chair push-ups (sit on a chair, grabbing both sides of the chair and then push down with your hands to lift your bottom off the chair
Kid’s Shot Put
Play catch or throw with a weighted ball, a large cushion or even heavy rice/bean bags. The weight of the item the child is throwing or catching provides heavy input. It can be fun to play shot put and see who can throw the heavy object the furthest.
Try these fun, at-home proprioceptive activities with your kids. There’s an abundance of similar activities you can complete at home, so be creative!