group proprioception

Proprioception

What is proprioception?

Close your eyes while your standing. After about ten seconds you might feel your joints and muscles balancing you to stay standing and not fall over. This sense is called Proprioception. It’s your body’s awareness of space and motion.

How Is Proprioception Linked To Literacy?

Proprioception is likely the most important sense in learning skills, yet it’s usually overlooked. Hands on learning is important for sensory input into information processing. This kineasthetic sense helps our brain to understand where we are in space, and how our body reacts to that space. This is developed via the sensory and motor cortex. Continual repetitive proprioception practice will build strong neural pathways in the brain. Strong pathways mean faster memory encoding and recall for learning.

How Can I Support My Child’s Proprioception?

Here are some ideas you can do at home or at a park with your child.

Newborn To Rolling Stage

  • Lycra/material play
  • scarf play songs
  • frequent-short tummy times
  • Finger play rhymes
  • baby massage
  • tie helium balloons to limbs
  • tummy rocking on a fitball

Rolling To Crawling Stage

  • Jolly jumper
  • Bouncer
  • Bath time
  • Tummy time on an incline
  • Soft fall sliding
  • Bouncing on a bouncy rider

Crawling To Walking Stage

  • crawling down a soft incline
  • bouncing on a bouncy rider
  • swinging
  • rocking horse riding
  • upside down rough play

Toddlers

  • Dancing
  • swimming
  • climbing
  • rolling down hills
  • swinging
  • jumping on a trampoline
  • sliding down a park slide
  • seesaw
  • spinning
  • small rollercoaster
  • flying fox
  • bush walking on an incline
  • inside/outside obstacle course
  • riding a balance bike
  • Ride on toys
  • Kindergym programme
  • push/pull toys

Local Research

There has been recent research from the University of Southern Queensland, that is showing links between how our proprioception environment supports literacy. It was explained in the 2018 Language To Literacy Conference at the Western Downs Library that there has been research on primary English academic levels relating to the flat environment in rural south east QLD. As compared with urban hills of Brisbane.

The recent research found that academically the further west of Brisbane the gradually lower English outcomes showed. It’s possible the flat environment has something to do with rural proprioception links.

Since these findings, Dalby has created a proprioception park along the Myall Creek walk. It targets movements such as: spinning, sliding, swinging, rocking, rolling, seesaw balance and a flying fox. It’s across from a local school who can also benefit from these proprioception play actions.

If you go to any local park, you will notice that there isn’t just 10 swings but rather 10 different actions for proprioception. We can analyse how our parks contribute to literacy in a completely different way that targets what our children need for better learning outcomes. It’s really exciting to see that local governments can make informed decisions for learning outcomes of our children.

Have fun with your little one!

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