August Heavy Work Exercises


Check out this set of 24 Heavy Work Exercise Cards new for August!  With this deck of cute cards, students will be able to maximize their learning potential, while caregivers provide easy and fun activities. 

Proprioception is the body sense responsible for receiving information from the muscles and joints about the position of the body.  Without proprioception, students may be clumsy, out of focus, disorganized, have difficulty with emotional regulation, demonstrate delayed skill acquisition, take longer to learn new motor skills, and struggle in school.  

Heavy work is the easiest way to get proprioceptive input into the body.  “Heavy work” in this sense means pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying,or moving objects with the body.  Students who hear the word “work” or “exercise” are likely to be reluctant to participate.  Once they see these great activity suggestions, they will be much more motivated to play.


When thinking about heavy work, do you think about weight lifting?  Heavy work does not need to be heavy in order to be effective.  It can be repetitive movement, pushing/pulling/carrying/lifting, chores, exercise, or organized games.  

Sometimes the most difficult part of providing heavy work is thinking of new ideas!  These cards provide a wide variety of proprioceptive input in many different ways.  Easy print and go activities will be a great addition to your Toolbox.

This deck of 24 cards includes:

  • Chores – watering the grass, planting flowers
  • Exercise – yoga, obstacle course, jumprope, jump in a pool, climb a tree, hop like a bunny, animal walks, climb a tree, wheelbarrow walks, swim like a mermaid, leapfrog, move like an inchworm, kayaking
  • Games – basketball, cornhole, hopscotch, hide and seek
  • Activities – fly a kite, catch lightning bugs, make lemonade,  water balloon fight/toss, dig in the sandbox

Ways to use these cards:

  • Laminate the cards to make them more durable
  • Punch a hole in the cards and add to a keyring
  • Try and pick at least one activity per day during the month as a challenge
  • Use the cards as an idea base to do more activities
  • Let learners pick the activity of the day
  • Have one student teach another how to do the activity
  • Play a game to pick a random card, and everyone has to try that card
  • Involve siblings, other family members, and friends

In addition to heavy work and proprioceptive input, these activity cards provide:

  • Social function – taking turns, working together, task completion, compliance, frustration tolerance, following directions
  • Executive function – organization, focus, attention to detail
  • Fine motor skills – grip strength, motor coordination, precision
  • Coordination – gross motor skills, bilateral coordination, balance, body awareness, strength
  • Sensory input – tactile, visual, auditory, vestibular, olfactory (smell)