PLAY HARD: It is the secret to healthy sensory integration

PLAY HARD: It is the secret to healthy sensory integration


"We worked hard, then we played hard." My strong and capable husband fondly shares his childhood memories with me. "We used to help my father rake, stack wood, and do the chores. We worked hard, knowing in the end we got to play hard..."

My husband goes on, "And play we did! Living on a lake was a lot of fun. We would invite a few of the neighborhood kids and head out to water-ski the rest of the day - a good four to six hours of skiing. If we weren't water-skiing, we were adding renovations to our tree house in the backwoods, biking around the lake, canoeing, or swimming. One thing was for sure, we were constantly moving." 

Unfortunately, many kids aren't "playing hard" today. In fact, I would argue that most kids are sitting for more hours a day than they are in active play. Sitting in their classroom seats doing paper-pencil work, shortened recess times, or in front of a screen is the new norm.   

Why Play Hard?

Because playing for just an hour a day isn't enough. Kids need to be moving throughout the day in order to establish a healthy sensory system. Active and imaginative play outdoors fosters:

strong balance systems
proprioception (senses in the muscles and joints)
touch processing
auditory (hearing sense) processing
higher-level thinking skills




Active Play not only helps prevent obesity. It can also help prevent sensory dysfunction.

Let your kids PLAY HARD and PLAY OFTEN!


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12-Jun-2014 03:00 PM Anonymous

Totally agree and endeavour to to this with my children. My housband spent most of his childhood outside cycling and playing in the fields with his friends but still exhibits many of the issues above... either he is now a LOT better in these respects than he could have been. Or the theroy doesnt hold true... hmmmm !

21-Jun-2014 08:37 PM June

Hello, I'm an Occupational Therapist myself and a sporadic blogger. I read two of your posts 'em. I will share it on my social media. Thanks.


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