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Early years: Proprioceptive differences

Proprioception is achieved from active use of the muscles e.g. pulling, pushing, and carrying. It is also obtained from active movement (that is propelled by child) e.g. running, climbing, jumping. 

Strategies and approaches

  • Staff recognise the positive impact that recognising and planning for children’s sensory differences and needs have on children’s learning experience
  • Offer opportunities for the child to run, jump, join in weight bearing activities such as crawling, pushing and pulling games.
  • Recognise that a child may seek further input via leaning, for example table or wall pushes.
  • Be aware that a child may rock on their chair, or place the legs on their feet to seek “grounding”. What opportunities are on offer to support this? For example, a child may benefit from move and sit cushions or wedges to give feedback to sit comfortably.
  • Ask the child to carry a heavy box or bag of toys or work for next activity.
  • Provide pushing/pulling boxes with heavier items in.
  • Offer riding vehicles e.g. tricycles, bicycles & scooters.
  • Offer jumping on trampette.
  • Suggest using a space hopper.
  • Use timers to support the start and finish of the activity.
  • Provide sensory circuits to support children.


Sensory Resource


A sensory checklist for the classroom and individuals can be found on the Autism and Social Communication Advisory Teams WIKI, under the resources for schools section (scroll along to sensory processing).


Sensory Circuits

More information regarding sensory circuits

Last updated 2 November 2021

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