Heavy work activities (1905)

Key points below

What are heavy work activities?

Heavy work activities can help children who have trouble with attention, arousal, self calming, and sensory problems.  A heavy work activity requires the muscles and joints to work harder than normal.  

What heavy work activities will help my child?

Play tug of war.
Do jumping jacks, scissors jump, hop on one or two feet.
Do animal walks (bear, snake, crab, dog, etc.).
Crawl over obstacles.
Play wrestling.
Play Simon Says game.
Go through an obstacle course.
Play with play dough, squishy balls or bubble wrap.

Wear a weighted vest when attention to task is needed. *Child needs to be able to put on and take off the vest themselves.
Wear a backpack or fanny pack with items that add weight.
Carry, push or pull weighted objects.

Outdoor Activities
Jump rope.
Shovel or rake outdoors.
Hold and pull hose to water grass, flowers, or garden.

Roll on the floor.
Roll up your body in a blanket.  Keep your head out.
Use a bodysock.  A bodysock is like a pillow case.  It is a sack that hugs your child as they play in it.
Push hands together.   
Lock fingers together and try pull hands away from each other. 
Do wall, floor or chair pushups.
Push on wall or other stable surface.
Chew on chewy, sugar free foods like   gum, dried fruit or bagel.
Make tight fists and then open hands.
Help carry grocery bags.
Push or lift a laundry basket.


Call your child’s therapist if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.