Tips for Motor Planning & Body Awareness Challenges
Often children who have challenges with motor planning or body awareness require more proprioceptive input or input to muscles and joints to increase awareness of where their body is in space. Here are some ideas if your child struggles with body awareness:
1. Create obstacle courses at home that require the child to climb under heavy cushions or over them, climb over a pile of pillows or crash into them, walk like a bear around the table, slither like a snake under a table. Creating the obstacle course and planning it out with your child is not only a part of the fun but also supports motor planning.
2. Chore or job ideas: Your child can help carry the filled laundry basket to and from the laundry room, perhaps push or pull the garbage can to the curb, wash a window (perhaps they can draw on the window first with window safe markers or crayons), help carry in groceries.
3. Simon Says game - Simon says "jump up and down". Simon says "balance on one foot for a count of 10". Simon Says "hop like a frog or a rabbit". Simon says "first put the bean bag on your head and then behind your back"
4. Progressive Muscle Relaxation - squeezing the muscles of each body part and then relaxing. This increases body awareness and can also be helpful in calming the body. The Sun Salutation yoga series is also an easy sequence to start the day.
5. Yoga poses - choose your favorite poses and spend 5 minutes doing yoga! Cosmic Yoga has some fun youtube videos.
6. Other ideas: playing in snow, raking leaves and jumping into them, tug of war with a long rope, hiking up hills, swimming, and climbing trees.