Proprioceptive Activities

  • Proprioceptive input can be described as sensations from joints, muscles, and connective tissues that lead to body awareness.  This input can be obtained by engaging in whole body activities that involve lifting, pushing, and pulling heavy objects, including one’s own weight.  Other activities include oral actions such as chewing, sucking, and blowing.  Hands can be used for squeezing and pinching.

    Carry, push, pull heavy items:

    • Carry laundry basket, groceries bags, cushions/pillows
    • Put stuffed animals in pillowcase; pull up stairs, along floor
    • Pull sibling on blanket or sheet
    • Fill box with books and push across floor (carpet is even better!)
    • Pull items in a wagon

     Household chores:

    • Sweep
    • Mop
    • Vacuum
    • Dust
    • Carry laundry basket
    • Wipe off dinner table
    • Wash windows
    • Wipe down shower or bathtub
    • Push in chairs
    • Carry buckets of water to water plants
    • Pull trash can to curb
    • Wash car
    • Put large toys on shelf or in toy box
    • Help change linens on bed; toss sheets down stairs when done
    • Brush the family dog
    • Help with cooking - stir, knead

    Yard work:

    • Rake leaves
    • Push wheelbarrow
    • Shovel sand, dirt, snow
    • Dig dirt to plant flowers 
    • Spray nozzle on garden hose to water plants

    Play with friend/sibling:

    • Pillow fights
    • “Wrestling” – two people lock hands facing each other and try to push the other person (have rules – no hitting, etc)
    • “Statues” – stand or sit still and have friend attempt to push you over
    • Potato sac race
    • Wheelbarrow walk relays
    • Play tug of war with rope, blanket, sheet
    • Make a plastic bag kite – attach string to handles and run
    • “Row, row, row your boat” – have children sit facing each other with legs straight, hold arms and sway back and forth 
    • "Paint" with water on side of house or on driveway
    • Draw with sidewalk chalk

    Participation in Sports and Extracurricular Activities:

    • Playground equipment including trampolines
    • Horseback riding, swimming
    • Roller skating
    • Ziplining
    • Climb rock walls
    • Make wood projects with sanding and hammering
    • “Camping” - set up and take down a heavy blanket pulled across a few chairs to make a tent
    • Play catch with heavy ball
    • Open doors for people
    • While on hands and knees color with chalk on the sidewalk
    • Play “cars”, pushing the car with one hand and holding body weight while creeping on floor
    • Push toy trucks filled with heavy blocks
    • Do animal walks, ex: crabwalks, bear walks, army crawl
    • Play crabwalk soccer
    • “Rock wall” – scatter pillows on floor and have child “climb” over them
    • Do jumping jacks 

    Oral Motor Activities:

    • Chew gum
    • Eat crunchy or chewy foods (ex: pretzels, carrots, celery, popcorn, granola bars, licorice, bummi bears, beef jerky, bagels)
    • Sip water, milkshake, yogurt from a straw 
    • Suck on popsicles, lollipops, or hard candy
    • Blow whistles, kazoos, bubbles, party favors


    • Sit in a bean bag chair
    • “Clean up” – rip pages out of old phonebook, toss paper balls into a laundry basket
    • Make a clubhouse – similar to “cozy corner” – use a large cardboard box and decorate it like a house
    • Stretchy bands – use pantyhose to pull in various directions
    • “Hot dog” – roll in sleeping bag, roll ball along back and legs, pat back and legs with various household items (ex: pillow)