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Purposeful, Goal Directed Activities to Help Your Child Regulate

Updated: Feb 5, 2019

Generally, activities that are purposeful or goal directed are more calming than random movement activities such as running around, jumping, or spinning. Purposeful and goal directed activities use the thinking brain, along with the sensory areas of the brain. They also give stable objects of focus while moving, instead of adding a ton of fast moving visuals as swinging or bouncing might do, which can be alerting for some children. Every child is unique however- watch your child’s reactions closely to see if the activity really is calming, or if they become silly, upset, or have difficulty listening to you after the activity.



Here are some ideas for activities that are generally calming:


Helping out around the house:


· Sweep/ mop

· Clean windows

· Carry laundry

· Move furniture

· Clean up toys

· Help wipe tables, counters, or walls

· Rake grass or leaves

· Carry groceries


Goal-Directed activities:

· Climbing at a playground or climbing gym

· Obstacle courses

· Building forts

· Moving through mazes (draw in chalk or in the sand)

· Hop scotch


Target practice games:

· Reaching for rings scattered on the floor while swinging and placing on target

· Throwing balls at a target while jumping on a trampoline

· Playing pass while jumping or balancing

· Sports activities (soccer, basketball..)


‘Control your body’ activities:

· Red light green light

· What time is it mister wolf?

· Freeze dance

· Simon says

· Jump rope

· Balance activities

· Yoga

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