Saturday, March 12, 2011

Man on the Move!

I have a little guy in my room who is a "man on the move!" We all know these children!  He's a bundle of energy, constantly in motion, constantly seeking deep pressure. He enjoys running at people and objects and slamming his body into them. He doesn't often simply hold an adults hand; he hangs from their arm. He LOVES rough and tumble play and initiates this by smiling and tumbling onto a lap, or by kicking, wiggling and hitting when he is unable to run into things. 

Originally, I thought of creating a "crash pad" area in the gym, with a bean bag chair or a large cushion (large dog beds found at a discount store work well for this) to slam into. He seems to get more excited the more he slams though, so I didn't want to have a child so wound up he couldn't calm himself down!

So, rather than spending our time in the gym with a child running at me and slamming into me as hard as he could (don't think my body can take it much longer!), I hooked up the therapy swing. 

Ahhhh...the power of swinging! At first, he laughed and wiggled his body. But, soon he started to relax and slow down. This little guy spent about 15 min. in the therapy swing. We had to stop when we started noticing his eyelids drooping!  We wanted a relaxed child, not a sleeping child!

After this activity, he walked down the hall holding an adults hand without hanging or pulling, he came into the classroom calmly and washed his hands. He was able to sit to listen to a 5 minute book and a quick song without kicking, hitting or rolling on the floor. He spent 10 min. painting with us. He then came over and danced with us, without slamming into people or hanging from adults.

When you find something that works for a child, it can be very powerful and have an immediate result! 15 minutes in the therapy swing helped him stay calm enough to enjoy participating for the next half hour in activities.

NOTE:  For more resources on sensory processing disorder and/or sensory diets see the bottom of this previous post.


  1. Thank you so much for this post. Sounds like a wonderful solution for this little bundle of energy. Thank you for the list of resources. I now and then have a child like your little guy.
    I too have found that gym activities aren't the solution for all kids.

  2. Pam
    I did leave the above comment last week I see, but I have just been visiting your blog this evening again, and was wondering if you would go to my blog and read my latest post re: Bouncers. It is my sense that using a bouncer in the early childhood environment can be abit overstimulating at least for some children. Your post about the "little bundle of energy" here seems to speak to the need to not overstimulate.
    I'd value your comment if you have time.

    P.S. My new blog has caused me some problems as it comes up when I leave comments on early childhood blogs, so if you want to read me just click on the link on the comment above this one: "Early Childhood Education and Commonsense".
    All the best!
    I enjoy your blog!

  3. Brenda- I'd love to stop over and read your post! I've been so behind on everything...I've missed a lot of blog posts recently! Thanks for letting me know about this.


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