Hands up if you have a firecracker of a child, or a “hyperactive” tiny human.
[all of the hands raise]
Ok great, this is the post for you!!
Heavy work: is exactly what it sounds like. Children with sensory processing issues are often encouraged to engage in a ‘heavy work’ activity. When kids are focused on this type of activity, they are stimulating their sense of proprioception and experience a feeling of purpose, calm, and focus.
Priopio-what? Proprioception is basically body awareness. Understanding where our body is in space, and how we must move it to accomplish a task.
Speaking from personal experience, understanding how and when to organize a heavy work activity has significantly changed the flow of our household. You know when you can sense your kiddo is about to wreak havoc? I.e they start teasing a sibling, beg to watch TV, begin the “why?” marathon, test personal space boundaries, etc. That could be an opportunity to change the pace of whatever your kid is doing and try to regulate their senses by providing proprioceptive input... give them work to do! Also, heavy work is such a simple concept! Vacuuming for example- someone’s got to do it! Why not the 3 year old? Or heck… why not wrap microfiber clothes around the baby and let them dust the hardwood?
IT’S A WIN-WIN PEOPLE.
Here is an amazing article that lists 40 different heavy work activities to try at home.
These are a few personal faves:
- Grocery shopping around the house
- Strongman/woman competition : We literally have a rock room in our house (story for another day) and fill buckets up with rocks and see how far the kids can carry the bucket. It’s extremely entertaining for me and they love it!
- Vacuuming (heck ya!)
- Tug of war - find an old sheet and go to town
- Yoga ball relay: the relay totally depends on your child's age. For our youngest he rolls/throws the ball to the next person but our 3 year old can relay the ball by using only his feet, bumping it with his belly, etc. This is a great time to add in more complex instructions for the older kids!
- Can tower: pick out cans from the pantry and have your kiddo stack a tower, castle, fortress, whatever their little heart desires. After the novelty wears off have them stock the pantry again.
Have fun working!