Sensory Integration

Sensory Integration is the process by which the brain takes in information from the environment through the five senses, organizes the input, and responds appropriately. Many children struggle with sensory processing--a problem which interferes with both development and learning. Often, children need assistance in learning to control their sensory systems to be alert enough, calm enough, or focused enough to succeed in school. Additionally, certain primitive reflexes that all children have at birth, can linger. If those reflexes are not well integrated they can hinder optimal learning. The following activities are designed to promote integration of the primitive reflexes and help children learn to maintain appropriate levels of alertness.





Giraffe Stretch.pdf

Giraffe Stretch

rocking horse.pdf

Rocking Horse

Crawling with

Head Turned



Changing Levels of Alertness.pdf
changing 2.pdf

Proprioceptive Activities/Heavy Work

Proprioceptive work (also known as heavy work) is a great way to help over-active children calm and to help under-active children perk up. These activities are common activities that can help your child achieve a better level of self-modulation in a variety of natural environments. Proprioceptive activities also help children with poor balance develop better balance because adequate proprioception is critical for balance. Check them out. Thank you to Therapeutic Activities for Home and School by Your Therapy Source for these great ideas!

  • Carry grocery bags

  • Carry, push or pull full laundry baskets

  • Carry heavy books and place on shelves

  • Push and steer grocery cart at store

  • Push and steer a child in a stroller

  • Push/pull furniture to clean under or to rearrange room

  • Push wheelbarrow full of dirt, leaves, or sticks, etc.

  • Pull a loaded wagon

  • Pull full backpack on wheels, suitcase on wheels or trash can on wheels

  • Push/pull doors and push revolving doors

  • Jump onto couch pillows piled on floor or bed sheets/pillows after changing the bed (Supervise Closely!)

  • Jump on trampoline

  • Play tug of war

  • Hang from monkey bars

  • Wear a backpack (with padded straps) with heavy books or dried beans in ti for 15-20 minute intervals. Do not repeat again for 1-2 hours.

  • Practice doing Animal Walks (See the video under the Body Coordination tab for a great ideas)

  • Participate in any sports activities that require jumping or resistance such as swimming, running, martial arts, etc.

Try soft background music while your child works to improve focus.

Having trouble getting your child to focus on schoolwork? Try a musical energy break.

Vestibular activities/Movement

from Therapeutic Activities for Home and School
  • Remember to listen and watch child's responses. If child asks to step make sure to stop the activity.

  • Use a rocking chair

  • Use a sit-n-spin or dizzy disc

  • Use swings where the child can touch the ground with his/her own feet and control the speed and direction of the swing

  • push child on the swing

    • slowly

    • forward and back

    • fast

    • slide to side

  • Have child spin on tire swing themselves--twisting it and let it unwind

  • Roller skate or ice skate

  • For calming activities have the child:

    • get into an upside down position

    • swing with the same speed and direction

    • read book in a rocking chair

    • give a firm, bear hug

  • Ride scooter and bicycles (with helmet)

  • Run in large circles

  • Log roll down hills

  • Go up and down on see saw

  • Go on merry-go-round

The development of the mind comes through movement.

Maria Montessori