What is a body sock? Why is it beneficial for kids? And how the heck do you use one? Check out one of our favorite materials for building developmental skills for kids!
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Whether you’re a therapist who’s always on the go, a teacher with little or no storage space, or a parent who hates having clutter all over the house – you’re looking for one thing. The holy grail, if you will.
Something lightweight, foldable, and easy to store. Something that will keep kids occupied and entertained. Something that will promote developmental skills with only minimal facilitation and guidance.
Friends, we’ve got your number. We’re excited to show off one of our all-time favorite therapy materials and give you tons of great inspiration for how you can use it in your therapy practice, classroom, or home too!
What is a Body Sock?
A body sock is just what it sounds like…a pouch or sack that a child can fit his entire body inside! It’s made out of lightweight lycra so it’s extremely stretchy with a nice resistive quality to it.
Why is a Body Sock Beneficial for Kids?
This resistance is awesome for providing calming deep pressure input to the proprioceptive and tactile systems. This can help kids slow their bodies down and is perfect for kids who seek out that deep impact sensation found in activities like rolling, crashing, pushing, and pulling.
Using a body sock is also great for promoting spatial awareness and motor planning by giving kids proprioceptive (resistive) feedback while they move.
Choosing the Right Body Sock
When you’re choosing a body sock for a child, you want the length of it to be pretty close to the child’s height or slightly smaller so it’s sure to give them that push/squeeze sensation when they move against it.
There are several different body sock options that are available commercially. I own one for my little guy who seeks out deep pressure input and then I steal it to use during therapy too! There are a couple of DIY options out there as well:
-These Homemade Stretchy Resistance Bands from And Next Comes L are awesome and provide sensory input that’s similar to a body sock.
-Active Play Therapies also has a great tutorial for how to make your own body sock.
How to Use a Body Sock With Kids
Now for the fun part. You’ve sized up your kiddo(s), you’ve bought or made your body sock, you understand why this tool is so great to use with kids, and now…you’re ready to play!!
Here are some of our favorite ideas for playing with a body sock with kids. But don’t forget to let those little ones loose to create their own ways to play too! Often, kids are the best inventors when it comes to sensory input and motor skill development!
1 || Try different movements/positions in the body sock:
-Reach for the sky and then touch your toes.
-Reach arms up and out wide and stand in a wide stance to make your body look like a star!
-Take a walk in the body sock.
-Stand in a wide stance and then touch one hand to the opposite foot. Repeat on the other side.
-Inchworms: Start in standing. Bend forward and place hands on the ground. Walk hands out into a plank pose. Then, walk feet back in to meet your hands. Repeat!
-Squat low to the ground, pretending to be a seed. Move your body into a standing position very slowly, pretending to grow into a flower or a tree!
-Crab walk. Or try crab walk soccer!
-Superman: Lying on the floor on your belly, stretch your arms up off the ground in front of you and your legs up off the ground behind you.
-Log rolls: Lie on the floor. Stretch your arms straight overhead and keep your body straight as you roll across the floor.
2 || Try some yoga poses while wearing the body sock:
3 || Pair the body sock with some other props!
-Balance beam (with close supervision!)
4 || Use the body sock as a prop for other play:
-Use the body sock as a secret hideout for quiet time.
-Play peekaboo by peeking your head out of the opening and ducking back inside to hide!
-Use the body sock as a stretchy rope to play tug of war
–Practice getting dressed by putting the body sock on and taking it off!
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