By Jennafer Young, OTR/L
Snow. It’s cold, wet, and difficult to drive in. But as Occupational Therapists, we love snow! At least, we love the therapeutic benefits of snow.
If your child is a sensory-seeker, on-the-move, emotionally dramatic, or high-energy kind of kiddo, keep reading to find out why you can love the snow too!
Playing in the snow is an activity that provides excellent deep pressure and heavy work or proprioceptive input.
Proprioception is our internal sense of body awareness. It tells us about where our body is, how our muscles are moving, and how much force we are using. For many kids, proprioception (heavy work) and deep pressure are very calming and organizing types of input. Snow provides an excellent source of these types of input! Simply wearing all that snow gear gives a nice dose of deep pressure, similar to using a weighted vest or blanket. And playing in a snowy backyard is a natural way to get a heaping helping of proprioceptive input, which can help your child remain more organized during the long hours of indoor work at school or play at home.
Next time your child is bouncing off the walls, consider a healthy dose of SNOW THERAPY with these activities:
- Climb a SNOW DRIFT MOUNTAIN: Provides heavy work and great exercise!
- Build a SNOWMAN: Great arm strengthening as they roll and lift the balls of snow. Also provides heavy work/proprioceptive input!
- Make a SNOW ANGEL: A more restful way to provide heavy work/proprioception. It also is perfect to pair this with deep breathing while your child lays in the snow.
- Create a SNOW MUMMY: Burry your child from toes to shoulders in the snow for a great dose of calming deep pressure. Then have him or her try to climb out!
- Build a SNOW FORT: Strengthen arms and legs, provide great proprioceptive input, and work on those planning and problem-solving skills!
With all these benefits in mind, let’s encourage our kids to bundle up and head outside for some SNOW THERAPY!