Deep pressure activities for kids can help provide the proprioceptive input that some children need to feel calm and regulated. It can also be an opportunity to offer some heavy work for kids!
Some activities can help them with their gross motor skills, and they can also be used as a calming tool. Try a few of these deep pressure activities and see what works for your child.
10 Deep Pressure Activities for Kids
Here are deep pressure activities you can do at home or at school:
- Weighted Tools – Have your child lie on a yoga mat or firm mattress and cover them with a heavy blanket. You can also use a weighted vest or lap pad for additional pressure.
- Massage – Give your child a full-body massage using slow, firm strokes. You can use lotion, oil, or even just your hands.
- Bath – Have your child soak in a warm deep water bathtub with some Epsom salt to add extra magnesium for relaxation.
- Play Dough – Make homemade playdough and have your child squish it with their hands. You can add essential oils for a calming scent.
- Joint Compression – Do some joint compressions with your child by gently pressing on their joints with your fingers. This can help relax tight muscles.
- Massage Tools – Have your child lie on their stomach and give them a gentle back massage with a vibrating tool. You can use a tennis ball or a foam roller to roll along their back for extra pressure.
- Compression Fort – Make a fort out of blankets and pillows and have your child crawl inside. This can provide a snug, safe feeling that can be calming.
- Exercise Ball – Have your child lie on their stomach on an exercise ball and roll around. This can help work out any kinks in the body and provide deep pressure.
- Bear Hugs – Do some bear hugs! Wrap your child up in a tight hug and let them squish into you. This can be a very comforting activity.
- Burrito Roll: Roll the child in a big beach towel or blanket like a burrito!
Why is deep pressure needed?
The proprioceptive system is responsible for providing information to the brain about the position and movement of the body. It helps us maintain our balance and coordination.
Some children have difficulty processing proprioceptive input and may seek out deep pressure activities to help them feel more grounded and organized.
What are the benefits of deep pressure activities?
Deep pressure activities can help kids with proprioceptive processing issues to feel more calm and regulated. They can also provide a great outlet for excess energy and help to improve focus and concentration.
Can deep pressure activities help with ADHD?
There is some evidence that deep pressure activities can help kids with ADHD to focus and stay on task. These activities provide proprioceptive input that can help to calm and organize the nervous system.
I hope these activities can provide some needed proprioceptive input for your kids that will leave them feeling happy and calm.
If you think your child might benefit from deep pressure activities, talk to your occupational therapist or other healthcare providers. They can help you develop a plan that is tailored to your child’s individual needs.
Please note that this is not intended to be medical advice. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, please consult with a doctor or occupational therapist.