Heavy work can be great calming activities for children and adults who have Sensory Processing Disorder. Heavy work activities are great for decreasing anxiety and regulating our sensory proprioceptive system. Heavy work is lifting, pushing or pulling.
Children and adults with Sensory Processing Disorder or Autism often need to chew to self regulate. The more sensory input they have in their sensory diet, the less they will chew.
1. Rough play wrestling
2. Tug of war
3. Crawling through tunnels
4. Pulling/pushing cart or wagon
5. Catching or throwing a heavy weighted ball
6. Wheelbarrow walking
7. Scooter board activities
8. Pulling apart resistant toys/objects
9. Joint compressions
10. Push ups or sit ups
Each persons sensory needs are different. Some will need more sensory input than others, while others will require less. An Occupational Therapist can assess each individual person to determine their sensory diet and how much sensory input they need.
Heavy Work Activities
1. Carry heavy items (baskets with cardboard blocks, laundry, groceries with Mom, bag for teacher, etc.)
3. Scooter board to and from a designated location (sit and lie on stomach use arms to propel)
4. Carry bean bags on head or shoulders and walk across a room, weighted vests, belts, wrist weights. Carry heavy pillow or cushions.
5. Pull other children around on a sheet or blanket
6. Yard work, including mowing the lawn, raking grass or leaves, pushing wheelbarrow
7. House work including vacuuming and mopping, carrying the bucket of water to clean with or water plants
8. Chew on chewy or crunchy snacks (carrots, apples, ice chips or jerky)
9. Falling into bean bag chair or crash mat
10. Drink a milkshake through a thin straw
11. Climbing activities (such as playground equipment)
12. Animal walks, crab walk, bear walk, army crawl
13. Use a weighted blankets and tighter pj's
15. Gymnastics or dancing