Sensory Processing Play: Laundry Basket Push Game

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 I am sharing a really easy laundry basket push game, a perfect proprioception activity for your toddlers or kids of any age.

sensory processing play

What is Proprioception?

An easy description is proprioception is being able to know where your body is in space and where your limbs are in relation to your body. Muscle planning, grading muscle movement, being able to move your arms and legs without necessarily looking at them all fall under proprioception. Pushing, pulling, jumping, big heavy work movements can all be considered proprioception. Proprioception input is located in the large muscle groups and the spine. 

You can read more about Proprioception from these two great posts here:

Laundry Basket Push Game

  • Laundry basket
  • A few books (to make the basket somewhat heavy, I used two thicker kids books that we have)
  • Favorite toys (we used two balls, a musical dog, and another stuffed animal)
  • Cones or color circles (optional)
  • Floor tape (optional)

This activity is super easy to set up. Simply place a couple heavier size books into the bottom of the laundry basket. Then have your child pick out some of their favorite toys into the basket.

I started by placing the basket out in the yard. I knew my daughter loved pushing objects like this around because she had done so before with boxes and other larger items. However, the grass was not the best to push the laundry basket on. She did pick up the basket a few times and carried it some around the yard. This is still a really good heavy work and proprioception activity.

laundry basket push game 3

So I moved it up to the front porch, which was much easier for her to push around.

laundry basket push game 2

She ended up pushing this around the front porch for about 15 minutes or more! Here is a short video I took of her pushing it around the porch.

You can see in the video how much concentration she put into this activity! That is when you can tell an activity is really working. By taking an activity that your child is showing an interest in and adding just a bit of a challenge to it, they will want to keep doing it until they master it.

In my daughter's case, that was taking her love of pushing empty boxes or carrying boxes around the house and providing her a “just right” challenge by adding some weight and making it fun.

How to Adapt the Laundry Basket Push Game

  • Make an obstacle course with the colored floor circles or cones and have your child push the basket while weaving in and out of the spots or cones.
  • Make lines on the floor with the tape, either straight, zig-zags, a figure 8 design, etc. and have them push the laundry basket following the tape. This is a great way to add in some extra visual-motor skills.

You may also like:

why sensory play is important for development

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. In our house a laundry basket is just as popular as a cardboard box (only sturdier!). I love how you used it for a proprioception activity!

  2. We do a lot of heavy work here too! One of the favorite games we did was holding the wall up. I’d holler the wall was falling and start pushing on it. I’d holler I needed 2 more strong people. They’d come running and we’d push….ahh…memories.


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