Body in Space
Some children struggle with knowing where they are in space: they may run into things, fall down while walking on level surfaces, lean on other children or adults, and step out of playground equipment into air, without seeming to understand the danger. These kids seem to need to bump into things to know where they are. We call them "body in space" kids: they do not know where their body is in space, so they need lots of input to help them improve their perception of their position, so that they can move with better control.
Body in Space Activities
Hot dogs: roll up in a blanket or sleeping bag (don't cover faces!) and pretend to be a hot dog.
Relay races: run fast, slow, see who can stop most quickly.
Crabwalking, bearwalking. Can you think of other animals to imitate?
Carwash with big sponges (then rinse and have a "snowball fight" with wet sponges.
Stilts: Make stilts with coffee cans or old buckets, using a jump rope for the string-handle, and see who can take the most steps on the stilts before falling off.
Swimming: Play chase games, throw divesticks into the water and race to pick them up.
Beach: bury each other under the sand, make sand angels, dig in the sand with toes instead of fingers.
Use sidewalk chalk to make a hopscotch grid, then jump and hop through the game.
Rainy days: if it's allowed, take all the couch cushions off to make a fort, then knock the fort down. Roll on the cushions, trying to roll the farthest, then roll back.
Try lots of different kinds of trikes and bikes till
you find the one that fits best and offers the best success. Try a store that sells
a lot of bikes, they are likeliest to have an array of trikes and bikes to sit on and get the feel of in the store.
Have your child carry a backpack. Gradually increase the weight in it, as this will help him feel more "grounded" and focused. Let him help you carry in the groceries and help with setting up rooms by pushing the chairs around in the kitchen (too hard to move across carpets).
Play games, read books, or color while positioned on your tummy. Great work for shoulders and upper back but work into it gradually, stopping when necks start to get tired.
Hugs: When the child seems to be out of control of his body, try giving lots of deep-pressure hugs and squeezes.
Jumping: Jumping on the floor or on a trampoline can be a great way to get lots of input into the sensory system.
Ball play: Kick balls back and forth, bounce them against the wall, play throw and catch games.
Cut a hole in the top of a plastic container for a great hand-strengthening and in-hand coordination game, sliding coins into the plastic container.
Play on a playground, sliding down slides and having swinging contests.
In your garden, have your child help with digging and watering. Just give her a small trowel, and be careful how hard the water is on!
Bowling: Setting up pins, rolling a ball to knock them down, setting them up again: a good way to use lots of energy!
Last Modified on March 29, 2010