Body awareness or Proprioception skills help children understand where their hands are in space when completing tasks. A child may have difficulties with activities such as handwriting, and dressing, if they cannot understand where their hand is or what it’s doing.
Below are some fun yet effective activities at developing proprioception skills for little ones!
#1 What’s in the bag?
… You tell me! A simple yet, a very effective game for improving your child’s proprioception skills. Find a opaque carrier bag and fill it full of random items around the house. Ask the child to place their dominant hand inside and pull out the named object. This game will help your child to identify objects through touch alone, therefore improving their awareness of were their hands are in space.
Different textures can help a child understand where and what their hands are doing. Introduce different texture to your child and ask them to explain what they feel like and identify other things that may feel the same. For example a spikey hair brush – your child could identify that a hedgehog is spikey and therefor they may feel similar. You could encourage your child to write on different texture such as; paper, card, sandpaper, chalk board, or a white board. The use of different textures improves the neural pathways between the brain and hands, improving your child’s understanding of their body in space!
#3 Muddy hands
‘Emily… What have I told you, don’t play in the mud!’ Ok… I’ll hold my hands up, I’m guilty of this myself, but what parent doesn’t want their child to look clean?! But what if I told you playing in mud is a free and easy way of developing your child’s awareness of their hands. Next time you find your child making one of their famous mud pies, why not lend a hand and join them! Not only is it great for proprioception, but it’s also a great for family fun… why stop at pie? Get creative!
#4 Can you thread behind your back?
Threading beads behind your child’s back is a great way to improve body awareness. Encourage your child to participate in ‘blind’ activities behind their back such as; counting money, threading, making bracelets etc.
#5 Blinds man bluff
Did you ever play this game as a child? If not let me explain… One child is blindfolded and has to find 1. Another child or 2. A named object. This games encourages the child to use their sense of touch to identify objects. By playing this game your child will learn about the texture of different objects and, will increase their proprioception skills.
There we go #5 Easy cost effective ways to improve your child’s body awareness. What you waiting for, go and have fun, no equipment is required!