Body awareness is the internal understanding of where the body is in space. It is highly influenced by proprioceptive processing, the sensory information one receives from the movement and force of muscles and joint groups. Body awareness helps one orient his or her body to their surrounding environment and helps them navigate through that environment. It is also related to one’s understanding of directionality and overall spatial orientation.
Effects of Poor Awareness
Children who have poor body awareness may have a difficult time learning how to perform new tasks and may prefer to be in confined spaces, forts, or under blankets as opposed to wide open spaces because they have a better understanding of where they are in space. Children with decreased body awareness may enjoy and seek out big hugs and may prefer to be squeezed tightly because it gives a lot of input to their joints and muscles (due to decreased proprioceptive processing). These children may also have difficulty imitating movements. When someone else shows them something they want the child to imitate, a child with poor body awareness may not understand how to move their body in the same way because they have a harder time understanding where their body parts are and how much to move them. Overall, children with decreased body awareness may appear to be clumsy and trip over objects or on their own feet because they are less aware of where their body parts are in space.
- Carry laundry baskets to and from the laundry area
- Empty wet clothes into the dryer
- Change sheets, wash windows, mop floors, vacuum
- Pull weeds
- Bring garbage cans to and from the curb
- Carry in grocery bags, put them away
- Shovel snow, rake leaves,
- Rearrange furniture
- Hopscotch, jumping jacks, jumping rope,
- Jumping on a trampoline, pull a wagon
- Climbing trees, jumping in piles of leaves,
- Make a snowman,
- Clapping games, twister, play dough,
- Bouncing a ball against a wall using heavier/bigger and lighter/smaller balls to experience differing amounts of feedback.