We often use “animal walks” in the clinic. These silly walks provide the children with proprioceptive input, which tends to be calming and organizing in nature. Using animal walks during transitions can give a child a sense of control (i.e. “It’s time to leave, are you going to walk like a bear or a hop like a bunny?”). Here are some of the walks we use, but feel free to make up your own:
- Bear walk – have your child put his hands and feet on ground with his bottom in the air and walk.
- Crab walk – have you child sit on the floor and place his hands behind him, then lift his bottom off the floor and walk forward or backward.
- Mule kicking – have your child lean down and put his hands on the floor, then try to kick his legs up in the air behind him.
- Bunny hopping – have your child hop with his two feet together
- Elephant walk – have your child bend over at his hips and put both arms together, walking while swinging his arms back and forth like a trunk.
- Frog hops – have your child squat down on the floor and place both hands on the floor, then push off and jump with hands and legs.
- Inchworm – have your child place his hands and feet on ground with his bottom in the air and move his arms forward keeping his feet still, then move his feet forward while keeping his arms still.