Close your eyes and touch your nose. If everything is working properly, this should be easy because your brain can sense your body, as well as its position and movement through space. This is called proprioception a sense that we often overlook because it is only subtly distinguished from movement. Without sensory information coming in from our muscles, we would be unable to monitor and correct our paths of motion. Imagine trying to walk, gesture, or eat if you had no sense of where your limbs were without looking at them. Children who are clumsy, uncoordinated, and sensory seeking are often experiencing proprioceptive dysfunction. These children often self regulate by engaging in behaviors that provide proprioceptive input such as toe walking, crashing, running or flapping. One study found that proprioceptive difficulties among children may contribute to decreased motor planning and postural control leading to disruptive behaviors that negatively affect their participation in daily tasks.
Most children develop a strong proprioceptive sense simply through engaging in everyday play activities that allow for exploration and movement. There are many activities that can help promote the development of a healthy proprioceptive system. Here are some of our favorites for you to consider adding to your MSE:
Haley’s Joy™ Sensory Wrap is a therapy swing that is available in 3 sizes. The Sensory Wrap swing provides deep sensory pressure. The interior is made of a microfiber fabric providing comfort to the occupant. The swing is suspended with easy-to-clean vinyl covered chains. A real hit for individuals with deep sensory issues.
For Use With (sold separately): Haley’s Joy On the Go Swing Frame
Sommerfly® Cozy Caterpillar™ Body Socks are available in five sizes to suit your needs. The Cozy Caterpillar™ is a uniquely designed version of a body sock. This stretchable body sock provides a proprioceptive and deep pressure touch experience like no other. It is very effective for improved focus and decreased anxiety for adults and children.
Body Rollers – provide deep pressure therapy as the child crawls between the rollers. The tension setting can be easily adjusted and the rolls are fully padded which helps the child to relax.
Weighted Vests are soft to the touch and comfortable to wear, this therapy aid promotes awareness of body position without immobilizing the user. Weight packs are inserted below wearer’s center of gravity in concealed pockets at front and/or rear of vest to provide deep pressure and a calming sense of body stability. Vest slips over head easily and closes at sides with touch fasteners.
Weighted Blankets come in a variety of sizes, designs and weights. Relaxer™ travel blankets help with the need to calm down during the day or unwind after a long day? Sit down and place your Relaxer travel-sized weighted blanket over you and feel yourself calm down and relax almost immediately. Take it anywhere for convenient calming: on the airplane, at the dentist, in the car or getting a haircut. These are perfect calming solutions for daily activities that may provoke stress. They are suitable for children and adults.
Wi-Fi interactive Stepping Stones allow you to move from step to step to create your own light show by activating compatible WiFi responsive products in your MSE – wall panels, fibre optics, bubble tubes and more!
Pressure pads contained in a foam padded wooden box activate light of a corresponding color. Helps encourage reach and movement, color-matching, co-ordination, attention, awareness of cause and effect, core strength, elevation, balance, spatial awareness and gross motor skills. Other items such as Graduated Steps help your client’s balance and motor-planning skills while climbing on these 6 giant steps! Helps address gravitational insecurities. Use with Sound Steps for a multi-sensory experience.
Trampolines, Bouncy Lily Pads, Crash Pads! Proprioceptive gross motor activities like jumping can wake up the muscles and therefore the mind. Jumping can really stimulate the senses by allowing kids to burn off a little energy. These activities can help with body and limb awareness.
Ball Pools encourage relaxation. They can build confidence and strengthen sensorimotor skills. Ball pools are great places to learn to relax — for children and adults. Brightly colored balls or clear balls in a lighted ball pool that bring mystery and magic to a darkened Snoezelen room massage the entire body, providing buoyant support, deep-pressure sensation, and proprioceptive feedback. The calming Vibroacoustic Ball Pool provides vibrotactile input and proprioceptive feedback.