If your bed linens are always torn off the bed, your couch cushions are always strewn all over the living room floor, and your house echoes with the pounding and banging of rough play at all hours of the day – you know what it means to have a child who loves to jump, stomp, and crash.
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Why Kids Need Rough play
If your little one fits the description above, take heart…he or she is probably not just trying to drive you crazy. Crashing, pounding, jumping, and stomping, and rough play are all great ways of providing input to the proprioceptive system. Proprioception is what helps us have a sense and awareness of our body through receptors in our muscles and joints. These receptors get information when we move, letting us know how to grade the force of our movements.
Some kids need more proprioceptive input to help regulate their bodies and minds. They may come across as being “rough” or”wild”, when actually they’re just seeking out the input their bodies need! They need sensory input that provides resistance and impact. If you know of a kiddo who loves to jump, stomp, and crash…these activities are for you!
20 Activities for Kids Who Need Rough Play
Monster stomps! Take stomping to the next level with these awesome monster feet!
This Ice Cube Proprioception Jump and Smash activity from Sugar Aunts is colorful, creative and fun!
Go out and play in the snow!
Cut a yoga mat into smaller squares or rectangles. Write numbers or letters or draw shapes on each one. Have the child jump from mat to mat as you call out the number, letter, or shape!
Try a round of Painter’s Tape Letter Hopscotch from My Mundane and Miraculous Life!
Have kids jump off of a raised surface (with supervision for safety!) A bench, a chair, the second or third step – all work great for this!
Make your own crash mat like they did over at Integrated Learning Strategies and then try some of these fun crash pad activities!
Rolling is a great way to build in some full-body proprioceptive input! Try rolling down a hill, on the living room floor, or on a bed!
Check out these awesome dinosaur-themed proprioceptive activities from Sugar Aunts!
Bubbles are always a hit during therapy sessions (and with our kids at home)! We love blowing bubbles, waiting until they fall near the floor, and STOMPING to pop them!
How about adding a sensory obstacle course into your play routine? This one from My Mundane and Miraculous Life looks like a blast!
One of our favorite therapy tools is a bolster. It’s heavy and great for using as a punching bag, kicking karate-style, or just pushing over with all your might! Don’t have a bolster? Stack up a bunch of couch cushions!
Speaking of couch cushions – check out these 10 fun games using the pillows from your sofa! We love using pillows and cushions because they’re usually a little bit heavy and they take some work for kids to lift and haul. They’re also great for crashing!
Pulling against resistance bands is a great proprioceptive activity! Check out the Handee Band, which comes with a book of fun activities to try!
Have you ever made your own roller coaster? This is another great way to work resistive input into play!
Here are some of our favorite rough house activities and games – also great for providing proprioceptive input!
There are lots of fun and easy ways to make the need to jump into a game! A couple of our favorites are Jumping Animals, Making Waves and jumping rope!
Looking for more stomping fun? Try Firecracker Tag!
What are your favorite ways to jump, stomp, and crash? Leave us a comment below! We’d love to add to our list!
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I shouldn’t admit this, lol, but my looney boys loved “sledding ” down my 12-step carpeted flight in their sleeping bags! I’m sure Older Son invented that one–he’s always been the daredevil.
I’m an OT too. I’m big on getting parents to play Tag, Hide-n-Seek on all fours with their kids. Jogging, wall push-ups and big ball play are often part of my sessions with my charges at school. Thanks!