Today’s free resource in the Spring Week tools are these free Heavy Work activities in printable card version, with a Spring theme! These are just the thing to get kids moving and adding much-needed gross motor movement into the classroom, home, or occupational therapy session. I modeled these printable exercise cards off our heavy work teletherapy activities freebie, so these are the perfect addition to your therapy toolbox.
Heavy Work Activities
Heavy work activities help kids to incorporate balance, endurance, and motor planning into functional activities. By integrating the proprioceptive sense and vestibular sense, or balance, equilibrium, position in space, and movement, kids are able to better move their body with awareness of how their body moves. This body awareness is needed for most every activity.
Adding resistance, or heavy work activates the muscles and joints in the body and “wakes them up”. Proprioception and calming vestibular work can have an organizing effect on kids. This enables a ready state for completing tasks.
Getting kids to incorporate the whole-body movements that they need to regulate and develop strong, healthy bodies isn’t always easier, now more than ever. That’s where the Spring Gross Motor activities come into play. These are whole body activity, Spring-themed activities that make fun brain breaks.
Functional Heavy Work
Many heavy work activities can be incorporated right into the daily tasks. Things like pushing a vacuum, moving furniture, carrying a laundry basket are day-to-day chores that add a ton of heavy work input.
Other heavy work tasks can integrate these senses as well.
Tasks like using a moldable eraser, coloring with crayons vs. markers, or pulling on socks offer heavy work just as well, on a smaller scale.
These are all strategies that play into a sensory lifestyle, or a sensory diet that is well ingrained into the day-to-day tasks. You can learn more about creating a sensory lifestyle into every day activities in my book, The Sensory Lifestyle Handbook.
Heavy Work and Gross Motor Skills
There’s more about heavy work than just sensory processing benefits.
Heavy work tasks improve balance, core strength, motor planning, equilibrium needed for movement changes, stability, coordination, and movement patterns. All of these skills require equilibrium of the vestibular system for movement and changes in planes. They also require position in space changes. Heavy work has so many benefits!
There’s more: Heavy work input also incorporates areas such as range of motion, flexibility, motor planning, crossing midline, muscle tone, and core stability.
Free Heavy Work Activity Cards
Would you like to get your hands on a set of free heavy work printable activities? This is a free resource that you can print off and use in therapy sessions, in home programs, as classroom brain breaks, and to just get those kids moving.
To grab this free resource, enter your email address into the form below.
More heavy work brain breaks and Spring activities
You can find more Spring brain breaks and heavy work activities in the Spring Occupational Therapy Activities Pack. Right now, it’s a BONUS add-on to our newly released Spring Fine Motor Kit!
Spring Fine Motor Kit
Score Fine Motor Tools and resources and help kids build the skills they need to thrive!
Developing hand strength, dexterity, dexterity, precision skills, and eye-hand coordination skills that kids need for holding and writing with a pencil, coloring, and manipulating small objects in every day task doesn’t need to be difficult. The Spring Fine Motor Kit includes 100 pages of fine motor activities, worksheets, crafts, and more:
- Lacing cards
- Sensory bin cards
- Hole punch activities
- Pencil control worksheets
- Play dough mats
- Write the Room cards
- Modified paper
- Sticker activities
- MUCH MORE
Grab your copy of the Spring Fine Motor Kit and build coordination, strength, and endurance in fun and creative activities. Click here to add this resource set to your therapy toolbox.
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.