What’s inside this article: A look at how and why heavy work activities help children with self-regulation and sensory seeking behaviors, plus a list of 60 heavy work activities for children.
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Today we’re talking about heavy work activities for kids, and don’t worry, I’m not referring to child labor. Heavy work in my world refers to any activity that pushes or pulls on the body.
Heavy work may help calm your child when they’re hyperactive or having trouble keeping their bodies calm.
It also helps with emotional regulation and may serve as a successful coping strategy.
Why Does Heavy Work Help Kids?
Heavy work stimulates the proprioceptive system, which is our sense of body awareness. We have proprioceptors in our muscles and joints that are stimulated during heavy work activities.
Most people receive enough proprioceptive input through their daily activities. However, some do not.
Those who do not are sensory seekers.
They’re often hyperactive and rough, jumping and crashing into things, may even act aggressively, because their bodies are seeking extra proprioceptive input.
Learn more about how the proprioceptive system works here.
For children like this, heavy work can help them stay calm by providing that much needed sensory input.
Heavy Work Helps Adults Too
Heavy work can help anyone calm down or deal with stress. It’s not just for kids.
Do you, or does anyone you know, like to clean when they get mad? What about exercise? Punch a punching bag? Those are all forms of heavy work.
I even know someone who likes to rearrange her furniture when she’s stressed out.
Heavy Work Activities
There are so many different activities that you can do to incorporate heavy work into your child’s day-to-day routine.
This list of heavy work activities will cover everything that I can think of.
Exercise-Based Heavy Work
Although yoga is exercised-based heavy work, it deserves its own section.
Yoga is a fantastic heavy work activity. But, it also stimulates the vestibular system and is an ideal calm-down strategy for kids who enjoy it.
My kids and I do yoga every morning. We love the Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventures which are available for anyone with an Amazon Prime membership (You can get a 30-day trial here).
The instructor, Jaime, makes yoga so much fun for kids and adults. There is also a lot of other content on there for kids about learning coping skills and mindfulness.
In Chair Heavy Work Activities
Often, kids are expected to remain seated in their chairs while they’re at school. This is often insanely hard for sensory seekers.
These are a few heavy work activities that kids can do without leaving their seats, which may be helpful during class time.
Heavy Work Activities at the Playground
Since all activities that involve pushing and pulling fall into the heavy work category, there are loads of ways to incorporate this into a trip to the playground.
Other Outdoor Activities and Chores
Most household chores involve heavy work, which is why I mentioned that a lot of adults like to clean when they’re stressed or angry.
More Heavy Work Activities
Here are just some more activities that didn’t really fit a specific category.
Looking for More Activities for Sensory Seekers?
I have tons of resources for kids who are sensory seekers. They benefit from many different types of sensory play, not just heavy work activities.
Check out this post: 52 Vestibular Input Activities for Sensory Seekers
Proprioceptive Input -40 Proprioceptive Input Activities for Sensory Seekers
Friday 29th of November 2019
[…] that involve heavy lifting or pushing, stretching or compression, or deep pressure are all […]