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I am thrilled to have my dear blogging friend Colleen of Raising Lifelong Learners sharing with us as part of the A-Z’s of Sensory Play for Kids series. She has a great post on using yard work as sensory play! 


Kids that need proprioceptive input will love helping out in the yard during all seasons, but spring time can give them lots of opportunities to lift, push, and pull, giving their muscles and joints the sensations they need.

And you’ll have a gorgeous yard to show for it!

So what jobs can you hand off to the kids that will help you get your yard in shape, be age appropriate and fun for them, and will help them out if they need proprioceptive input? Check out these suggestions:

Pulling Old Plant Debris: Your flower beds and gardens are likely to be in tough shape after the fall and winter seasons have taken their toll. Have your kids get out there and clean up those beds. They can pull out the old plants, rake them into piles, then drag the trash bag to the curb.

Digging holes: Do you plan to plant some seedlings? Maybe some berry bushes? Send your sensory seekers out into that sunny patch of dirt and have them start digging. Make sure they’re digging in an area that’s not too hard, but has dirt they can actually move.


Shoveling Mulch: Do you have landscaping that requires mulched every year? When the mulch is delivered, make sure to get your kids in on the action. A kid-size wheel barrow is great for this, and can give your kiddos the push-pull sensation his muscles and joints need. He may not actually make the job go faster, but you’ll have lots of great memories of shared yard adventures.

Planting a Garden of Their Own: Giving your kids a bit of dirt and some seeds can yield all sorts of sensory fun, play, and therapy. They’ll dig dirt, push seeds into the soil and cover it up, and then they’ll pull the weeds that inevitably pop up. Don’t worry about the production of their garden, but revel in their experiences with them.

Creating Their Own Play Spaces: With a bit of imagination, some planting, pushing and pulling of materials like bricks and old tires, and dirt, kids and adults can work together to create these and other great outdoor play spaces, guaranteed to get kids outside, active, and experiencing all they need to have a rich sensory diet.

Do you have other suggestions for getting kids outside to push, pull, and work hard while getting fresh air and helping to create a family space everyone can be proud of?


Colleen is a former teacher of gifted children who prayed for nice, average kids. Since God has a sense of humor, she now stays at home to homeschool her highly gifted kids, trying desperately to stay one step ahead of them while writing about their adventures {and messes} at Raising Lifelong Learners. You can find her avoiding housework by playing around on Pinterest and chatting on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.

For more sensory play ideas, be sure to follow my Sensory Fun pinterest board and the A-Z’s of Sensory Play for Kids series.

Follow Heather @ Golden Reflections Blog’s board Sensory Fun on Pinterest.

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