My favourite word when it comes to reducing meltdowns: Proprioception
Let me explain ....
This is the sense that tells your brain what your muscles and joints are doing. This is how you know what your body is doing even when you can't see what you're doing. Think it's not important? Next time you are reversing your car and you handle the steering wheel expertly to do a three-point turn ... that's proprioception. When you grab a plastic cup of water or a mug of water, do you think and make a calculation of how tightly to grab the cup or do you just reach out and grab it? This is another example of proproiception.
Giving the body this type of information is food for your brain. Our bodies were built to move, grab things, pull things, push things, lift things, jump, run, roll ... while we live increasingly sedentary lives our need to move remains.
Proproceptive input is thought to be calming, help regulate the central nervous system and to reduce sensory sensitivities.
The type of activities that will help calm and regulate involve deep pressure on the muscles and joints. This can be active proprioception where your child hangs from monkey bars at the park, climbs a rope swing, does wall push-ups against a wall, plays tug of war with you. Or passive proprioception where your child relaxes and you provide the deep pressure such as a bear hug or a massage.
Including both active and passive proprioception, that is, active PLAY, into your child's day as a daily activity just like we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner will help meet your child's natural need for movement and proprioception.
Hit reply and let me know what you think about including these fun activities in your child's day.