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Feb 2014: Helpful Hints – Heavy Body Work for Indoors

Center for Pediatric Therapy

With the wintry temperatures and the early sunsets, this time of year can be hard

for children who need heavy body work to keep calm and organized.

Remember:  push, pull, tug, lug, squish, mash, mush, stomp, crash….

Here are some ways to get this input while indoors.


  • Helper jobs – have your child push a basket of laundry down the hall, use a push broom in the garage, carry (non-breakable) groceries, move chairs to sweep under the table, or drag a blanket with books or toys to move them to another room.


  • Indoor obstacle course –  create an obstacle course with steps like jumping over a pillow, crawling under a chair, catching a weighted ball, or tossing balled up socks to a target while sitting on a small yoga ball.  Try to think about what objects your child can go over, under, around, and through. Have your child help with the set up and cleanup for extra input.


  • Mini-trampoline – small trampolines can be a great way of getting both movement and proprioceptive input. There are many trampolines available with handles for extra safety.


  • Animal walks – have your child walk like a bear or a crab, jump like a bunny or frog, slither like a snake, or roll like a log.


  • Wall push-ups – have your child stand facing the wall with hands on the wall at shoulder level, and bend his elbows to complete a push-up movement. Start with 10 and see if your child wants to do more. Younger children can help “make the rooms bigger” by pushing on walls.


  • Tug-of-War – clear an area of furniture or other objects. Make a line with tape on the floor. Lay a rope across the line so an equal amount of rope is on each side. Have each person grab an end of the rope. At the count of three, begin pulling on the rope. Whoever pulls the most or all of the rope over to his or her side of the halfway line wins.


  • Stationary bicycle- older children may benefit from using a stationary bicycle during the winter months. Allow your child to turn the resistance up or down to meet their “heavy muscle work” needs. Be sure to monitor for safety.