Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Snow Day and Heavy Work

I don't know what the weather is doing where you are, but it feels like we've had nothing but bitter cold (minus 37C with wind chill!), freezing rain and more snow than we know what to do with since Christmas.  It feels like the kids have been on an extended holiday for weeks now because of all of the bus cancellations.  The mercury is so low that they haven't been having their regular outdoor breaks at school either.

Even the kids are wondering when it will stop
All of this is throwing a bit of a monkey wrench into our daily life.

The kids are bored but also full of energy. Which spells trouble. Are your kids driving you nuts yet? Are they a bit out of sorts?

Either we all need a vacation (not likely to happen) or we need to help them sort themselves out!

Looking for the "bright side"? I sure as heck am!

One of the best parts of being a special needs parent is learning some cool tricks to make things run a little smoother. I wish I had realized the mechanics behind this a long time before now- because I find it works wonders for all three of my kids and it is so simple to do.

Heavy work activities (i.e., proprioceptive input) are used for children with sensory processing difficulties to help increase attention, decrease defensiveness, and modulate arousal.

Oh yes, the snow IS WAIST DEEP!
Proprioceptive input is the performance of tasks that involves heavy resistance and input to the muscles and joints, and is essential in helping our bodies (both typical and atypical!) assimilate and process both movement (vestibular) and touch (tactile) information. This resistive input obtained through heavy work activities is generally organizing and can improve attention, arousal level, body awareness and muscle tone, as well as decreasing defensiveness.

And it's incredibly simple and easy to build into your day- especially in the winter months.

Are your kids a little out of sync? Dress them up in their heavy winter clothes- for some kids, the heavier the clothes the better this works. Take them out in the deep snow have them fight their way over the snow drifts! Stretch! Climb! Work it!

Oh yes- while they are out there, hand them a shovel.  Heavy work is about pushing, pulling, and lifting. I'm sure you could use a hand clearing the snow from the side walk and driveway! Grab a sled and fill it up with snow. Drag it around the yard a few times.
The Trailbazers hard at work
She tried really hard, but required a tow!

Connect and engage with your kids.  They are totally worth it! Snow days can be rough on everyone but I think that we owe it to ourselves to find positive ways to use the time we are given.

Do you have any tips or tricks for coping with kids on snow days?  Please share! I am dying to know!

Leave me a comment below- don't worry, I promise I won't bite! :)

No tears here! She's a very good sport!