Show us those powerful muscles! The Incredible Hulk is feeling wild, and perhaps a little out-of-touch with his many emotions. It’s heavy work to the rescue! Heavy work for toddlers and kids has a tremendous and positive impact, so it’s important to know what it is and how to incorporate it into a daily routine. Let’s smash through to what you need to know.
Why Go Green for Heavy Work?
Heavy work is a bit like how it sounds, but there’s much more to it than meets the eye. Put simply, heavy work involves activities that use pushing and pulling motions. Lifting counts too. Creating resistance is what really matters when it comes to these activities. Hanging from monkey bars, digging, crab walking, pushing a grocery cart, and jumping are just a few other examples of heavy work activities. Heavy work uses the proprioceptive sense, which tells us about where our limbs are (body awareness), our body position, and how much force we are using. Believe us when we say that there are game-changing benefits with Hero Heavy Work.
Leaving Behind a Mighty Impact
Does your growing tot seem like the Hulk at times with emotional outbursts? Heavy work does wonders to help kids with self and emotional regulation, focus, and attention. This is because resistance from heavy work can be calming to the body and the mind. It helps balance the body as a whole and satisfy sensory needs. Kids with ADHD or autism can get a lot out of heavy work sessions because of these benefits. Additionally, heavy work has strong positive effects on sensory issues in toddlers and kids. When your child feels overwhelmed or underwhelmed by their sensory experiences, heavy work can help them better manage these big feelings. For example, if your child is seeking proprioceptive input, they may have trouble sitting still or feel the need to constantly jump or crash into things. These activities will help your child stay calm and focused for longer stretches of time. The bottom line? Your child’s Hulk-like behaviors indicate that they may need to spend time with pushing, pulling, and lifting motions.
Fight for Heavy Work Activities
There’s certainly a case to be made for incorporating heavy work activities into your daily routine, especially if it helps your child have a smoother day at home or at school. You may want to schedule time in the morning, afternoon, and/or evening for proprioception activities. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Just be sure that your child can complete the activity without strain so that everyone remains injury free. Monitor play and adjust activities as needed.
Heavy Work Obstacle Course
Create an outdoor obstacle course with stations that will cause your child to push, pull, and lift. They could toss heavy bean bags (like a cornhole), army crawl, wheelbarrow walk with a partner, squeeze clay, and practice their hopscotch skills. Get creative and have some fun when building the obstacle course.
Wet Sand Dig and Build
Fill a large bin with wet sand. Hide many items (like figures) within the bin that your child has to find and dig for. Once they find all of the items from an item checklist, they need to build a structure and decorate the sand castle with the items that they found. They will need to push through the wet sand for the items and squeeze the sand together to create the castle. Don’t forget to give it a name!
Laundry Basket Race
Fill laundry baskets with a lot of laundry or heavier items. The goal is to push or pull the basket across a predetermined finish line without letting anything fall out of the basket. How fast can your child complete the task?
Remember that activities of this nature can happen in many places. You might have your child move the shopping basket while at the store or have your child vacuum while you clean the kitchen. Giving jobs that involve heavy work will get your child reaping the rewards.
Does your child have issues with attention, focus, or sitting still? What about sensory concerns that need addressing? Occupational therapy may be a good fit for your child to see big improvements. Contact us today.