If you’re looking for interoception actions for kids, we’ve got 7 ideas to help! These actions are designed to assist enhance a child’s interoceptive awareness, permitting them to acknowledge important internal cues and the feelings they create. Perfect to be used in occupational therapy, at home, and even inside the classroom, these interoception actions for kids assist with self-regulation, problem-solving, flexibility, and social skills.
What is Interoception?
Often described because the eighth sense, interception permits us to interpret the issues that are going on inside of our bodies. It helps us perceive how we’re feeling, and permits us to take the suitable actions to handle the feelings these feelings create.
If our abdomen growls, we eat.
If our mouth feels dry, we drink.
If our bladder is full, we use the bathroom.
If we really feel cold, we put a sweater on.
What is the Relationship Between Interoception and Emotion?
Children with sensory processing challenges sometimes struggle to make sense of the information provided by their interoceptive systems. They don’t acknowledge important cues inside their body, which in flip makes it difficult for them to identify the feelings these cues create. The inability to identify the supply of their discomfort (thirst, hunger, the necessity to us the bathroom, sickness, etc.) makes self-regulation extra difficult for these kids, leading to feelings of frustration, unexplained meltdowns, etc.
The interoceptive system impacts different important skills like social and versatile thinking, problem-solving, and social understanding as well.
Signs of Interoceptive Challenges in Kids
If you suspect your child may have interoceptive challenges, it’s always best to talk with a licensed skilled to rule out any different underlying conditions, and to make sure the suitable assessments are carried out and a solid treatment plan is put in place.
A child could additionally be UNDER responsive to interoceptive enter in the event that they have:
- a very excessive threshold for pain
- difficulty with toilet coaching (accidents, bed-wetting, constipation, etc.)
- an inability to inform if they’re hungry or full
- an inability to inform if they’re chilly or hot
A child could additionally be OVER responsive to interoceptive enter in the event that they have:
- extreme reactions to sure sensations (hunger, temperature, etc.)
- difficulty focusing due to preoccupation with internal stimuli
- extreme anxiety and fear over seemingly small events
7 Interoception Activities for Kids
Interoceptive difficulties can have a significant impact on a child’s ability to maintain their internal system balanced and result in challenges with self-regulation, problem-solving, flexibility, and social skills, however relaxation assured that interoception can be improved.
Here are 7 of our favourite interoception actions for kids!
REGULAR BODY SCANS
If you’re looking for interoception actions for kids, a nice first step is to proactively assist your child acknowledge interoceptive enter because it occurs. Ask your child to full a full physique scan earlier than consuming and drinking, when outside in hot and chilly weather, earlier than utilizing the bathroom, after exercising, etc. and ask her or him to identify the internal feelings that hunger, thirst, heat, cold, a full bladder, a racing heart, etc. create. Remember that these feelings may not be innately apparent to your child, however the extra you assist her or him in feeling them in actual time, the extra she or he will be able to identify and act on them independently inside the future.
When trying interoception actions for kids, you want to make sure you are specializing in issues that address your child’s particular sensory challenges and needs. An occupational therapist can assist you develop an individualized sensory diet, which will mix different sensory activities, tools, and tactics to assist your child receive, process, and reply to sensory information extra appropriately. By engaging in individualized sensory diet actions each in remedy and at home, your child will learn how to interpret cues from their physique and from their environment in an appropriate way. And since most sensory diet actions are extraordinarily fun, they supply a way for children to practice their new skills in a non-threatening environment with out even realizing it.
If you’re interested in studying extra about occupational remedy and the different sorts of actions occupational therapists use to assist children with sensory processing challenges, THIS POST is a nice place to start!
If you’ve spent time on-line looking for interoception actions for kids, you’ve probably examine the advantages of mindfulness. The time period ‘mindfulness’ refers to our innate ability to be fully current inside the second – to focus on the place we’re and what we’re doing with out permitting other, intrusive thoughts, worries, or fears to permeate our minds. When we’re practicing mindfulness, we’re neutral and non-judgmental to what’s happening round us, and when our minds wander, we redirect our ideas again to the current moment.
Preliminary analysis means that mindfulness can be beneficial to kids who struggle with interoception, and it has additionally been proven to:
- decrease feelings of stress and anxiety
- improve focus and concentration
- help with impulsivity
- improve self-regulation
- develop empathy
- reduce aggression
- improve sleep
- …and more!
Teaching mindfulness to kids can be difficult as it’s a fairly obscure concept, however there are tons of easy mindfulness actions that may help. We’ve written an entire post with tips and actions for teaching mindfulness to kids, the place you can learn HERE.
Yoga is one other nice option for these that are looking for interoception actions for kids. Some of the advantages of yoga include psychological wellness, relaxation, improved respiration, and a lowered coronary heart rate, so it’s no shock that many parents with children who struggle to regulate their feelings are turning to yoga for relief. There are tons of yoga sequences for kids you can stream for free on YouTube, however when you’re looking for one thing you can use offline, we love our Yoga Pretzels kit. It has 50 enjoyable yoga actions the entire household can enjoy together.
MORNING INTEROCEPTION CHECK-IN
Another nice way to assist kids develop interoceptive consciousness is to create a daily check-in to assist the little ones in your life construct interoceptive awareness. This template from Teachers Pay Teachers includes daily check-in prompts for kids, together with issues like how they slept and when/what they ate, and it takes them through a full physique check to assist them determine out how they’re feeling to allow them to strategize appropriately. This is a nice tool to assist you perceive the different methods you can assist your child construct interoceptive awareness, and also you can use the ideas to create a extra personalized daily check-in chart if needed.
HEAVY WORK ACTIVITIES
‘Heavy work’ refers to actions that push and pull the body. Kids of all ages and abilities can profit from engaging in heavy work, however these actions are particularly useful to children with sensory processing dysfunction as they engage the proprioceptive system, which performs an enormous role in interoception. Heavy work has a calming impact on the nervous system and helps children with issues like physique awareness, organization, and self-regulation. Examples of heavy work actions include:
- Carrying groceries to and from the car
- Mowing grass
- Raking leaves
- Shovelling snow
- Carrying rubbish cans to and from the curb
- Cleaning desk tops and windows
- Jumping on an outdoor trampoline or indoor trampoline
- Pushing an train ball up the stairs
- Wheel barrow races
- Bean bag toss
- Jumping jacks
- Using weighted lap pads*, weighted vests*, or weighted blankets* to enhance physique consciousness and promote a way of calm
*Make certain to follow instructions when ordering weighted merchandise to make sure the weight is correct for your child’s age and size. For security reasons, your child should be able to take away the merchandise from his or her physique independently.
For extra heavy work activities, CLICK HERE.
INTEROCEPTION ACTIVITY CARDS
If you’re looking for interoception actions for kids you can use inside the classroom, this set of 12 exercise playing cards on Teachers Pay Teachers is a nice one to consider. These actions are designed to assist children work towards understanding their our bodies and emotions, which in flip will assist them self-regulate and train greater focus and control. You can use these playing cards with kids in kindergarten through grade 7 both individually or as a half of a bigger group activity.
I hope these interoception actions for kids inspires you to discover new and creative methods to assist your little one learn how to identify and interpret important internal cues and sensations to facilitate greater self-regulation, social and versatile thinking, problem-solving, and social understanding!
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