In our last blog, we talked about finding heavy chewing work for oral sensory seekers. But just what is heavy work exactly? Heavy work is any activity that requires you to put pressure on your muscles and joints as they are moving. Any activities that create heavy work are helping to provide proprioceptive stimulation, which helps your child to self-regulate.
What Are The Benefits of Heavy Work?
Heavy work helps your child in more ways than one. Aside from helping your child to feel calm and self-regulate, it also improves clarity and alertness, extends attention span, aids body awareness, and strengthens muscles. Introducing heavy work activities into your routine can greatly help your child to feel stimulated and ready to jump to the next task at hand.
Heavy Work Activities
Many people think that heavy work has to include something heavy. Actually, heavy work is any activity that puts extra pressure on any of your joints or muscles. So, simple activities like chewing gum, cutting paper, writing letters, squeezing a tube, or pushing, pulling, or carrying something heavy can be heavy work activities. Here are a few activities your child can do to help incorporate heavy work into their sensory play.
- Try to do as many jumping jacks as you can in a minute.
- Push a laundry basket full of heavy objects, such as books, to the finish line.
- Do some animal walks, like the crab walk or frog hop.
- Jump on a mini trampoline as many times as you can before tiring out.
- Do some chores, like switching a load of laundry, raking leaves, or sweeping.
- Help out at school with heavy work activities, like cleaning dry erase boards, sharpening pencils, or carrying books.
- Do some wall push ups; face the wall and extend your arms until they are touching the wall. Then, lean in towards the wall while supporting your body weight and bending your arms. Push yourself back up, and repeat!
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center is a top therapy center serving families of children and adolescents with disabilities. Our team consists of the leading experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavior sciences. We offer intensive, hands-on therapy for children and adolescents as well as resources for families. We are real therapists helping real families with real issues. If you are concerned about your child’s behavior, take a moment to fill out our quick questionnaire. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, call 202-561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or 301-577-4333 (Lanham office) or contact us via our website. Want to keep up with our latest news and blog posts? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.