Deep pressure (proprioceptive) activities can be very calming, focusing, and organizing for children (teens and adults, too). Here are some of our favorites you can do at home and easily incorporate into your child's routine with little or no equipment.
- Animal Walks (bear walk, frog hop, seal slide, duck waddle, crab walk, etc.). Have your kiddos crab walk to breakfast, bunny hop to the bathroom for potty breaks., and crawl like a snake to turn the TV on and off. Animal walks that involve a child inverting their head also provides effective vestibular/movement input that can be so calming and organizing for children who are movement seekers. Deep pressure and movement input can be especially helpful for "crash & burn" kids and those who love swinging, twirling, and other types of movement input.
- Yoga Poses. Yoga can be wonderful for building children's minds, bodies, and spirits – as well as relieving stress and developing coordination, flexibility, balance, gross motor, and crucial sensory processing skills. We have some awesome Yoga Activity Cards and Games (appropriate for a wide variety of ages and functioning levels) if you need some fun ideas about what and how to incorporate yoga into your family's day!
- Tug of War and other pushing-pulling activities like scooter board play, piggy back rides, pushing each other on carpet square, etc. – all provide entertaining ways to get or give helpful deep pressure input. Chores like carrying grocery bags/clothes baskets, vacuuming, raking, scubbing tables, and moving furniture are other ways to get that type of sensory input.
- Obstacle Courses. Obstacle courses are easy to set up at home with things like pillows, ropes, couch cushions, boxes, and masking tape. Set up the first one to get your kids started and let them take over from there. Incorporate crawling, climbing, hopping, bending, pushing, pulling, and lifting as possible. Up the challenge by having your child do fine motor tasks along the way (put 3 clothespins on the side of the box), hold the ball over your head and drop it in the bucket, throw beanbags and try to knock over empty milk containers, etc.
Click here for some creative obstacle course ideas!
- Push-ups (floor, wall, or chair push-ups are all great), jumping jacks, sit ups, and ball activities using large therapy balls or weighted balls – all provide nice doses of deep pressure input.
- Putty, Clay and Dough Play. Have your child stretch, squish, knead, and play "hide 'n find" games with Therapy Putty or other resisitive types of dough using small plastic charms and toys, pennies, marbles, and other small objects. *Adult supervision is needed with small objects due to the potential choking hazard. Do not do this activity with small children or those who mouth things.
Enjoy and feel free to send your activity favorites so we can share them with others!
– Your Therapy Shoppe® Occupational Therapists❤️
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