H is for Heavy Work Ideas for Kids

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I am very excited to have Dayna from Lemon Lime Adventures guest posting in the A-Z's of Sensory Play for Kids series. Dayna is sharing with us some great heavy work ideas for kids.

I am excited to be sharing with you today about the elusive “heavy work”. You might have heard the term thrown around, you might have never heard of it. Whatever the case, I think it is an extremely useful tool that all parents and educators should know.

What is heavy work? Learn about some great heavy work ideas for kids.

What is Heavy Work?

Just like adults, children need to be able to calm their bodies and self-regulate. Not all children can do this on their own, however, which is why heavy work is so important. Heavy work is any activity which requires you to use your muscles and joints, putting pressure on them as you move. It provides your body with necessary proprioceptive input to self-regulate.

What are the benefits of Heavy Work?

  • Generally Helps Organize the Brain
  • Can be Calming
  • Alerts Children Before Mental Work
  • Improves Attention
  • Helps with Body Awareness
  • Strengthens Muscle Tone

What does Heavy Work look like?

Heavy work can be done through a variety of activities. One misconception is that heavy work involves something “heavy”. Think of it as heavy weight-bearing activities on ANY of your joint and muscles. This can include chewing, cutting, writing, squeezing, pushing, carrying and pulling.

Heavy work is great for all children, not just children with sensory processing disorder. In fact, heavy work is AWESOME in the classroom, at home or out and about. I've included some of my absolute favorite heavy work activities!

10 Brain Break Exercises – Growing Hands-On Kids

Simple Activities for Kids that Jump and Climb – Growing Hands-On Kids

Simple and Fun Animal Walks – Lemon Lime Adventures

Brain Breaks that Really Work – Lemon Lime Adventures

Chores that Help Calm and Focus {free printable} – Lemon Lime Adventures

Author Bio: Dayna is a National Board Certified teacher, with over 12 years of experience in early childhood education, who now homeschools her 3 children, one of which struggles with Sensory Processing Disorder. She is the author at Lemon Lime Adventures where she is dedicated to sharing real-life stories with parents and educators about the pretty and the not so pretty days involved in raising children. You can connect with Dayna on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For more sensory play ideas, be sure to keep up with the A-Z's of Sensory Play for Kids series.

The A-Z's of Sensory Play for Kids from therapists, teachers, parents, and kid bloggers.

Heather Greutman, COTA

Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant with experience in school-based OT services for preschool through high school. She uses her background to share child development tips, tools, and strategies for parents, educators, and therapists. She is the author of many ebooks including The Basics of Fine Motor Skills, and Basics of Pre-Writing Skills, and co-author of Sensory Processing Explained: A Handbook for Parents and Educators.

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  1. Valerie McPhillen says:

    I would like the Heavy Work pdf?

CONTENT DISCLAIMER: Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.
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All activities outlined on the Website are designed for completion with adult supervision. Please use your own judgment with your child and do not provide objects that could pose a choking hazard to young children. Never leave a child unattended during these activities. Please be aware of and follow all age recommendations on all products used in these activities. Growing Hands-On Kids is not liable for any injury when replicating any of the activities found on this blog.

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