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Start a Pillow Pile Routine!

Submitted by EmilyOlson on Fri, 02/25/2011 - 19:19.

If you are looking for activities to add to your morning routine, consider a Pillow Pile. As you wake up your child, ask them to help you find all of the pillows in the house. This task alone could take a serious amount of time for a child so you will need to adapt based on the skills of your child. Have them carry each pillow to the center of your living room or family room. It should be a large open area not too close to any hard furniture.

After placing the pillows in a large pile, pull up a dining room chair and let them jump into the pillow pile. (The siblings can help too as long as they are not too rough!) When you are done, have your child help you pull all the pillows back to each room.

As you evolve the routine you can adapt to add games like:

making a path through your house using the pillows
sorting the pillows by shape or size
counting how many pillows you find
if your child is not talking yet, practice words while playing like "jump", "again" or "go"
buy assorted colored pillow cases and ask them to find all the "red" pillows today
hide pillows from the couch the night before and see how they respond to the pillow not being where they expect it. Ask them to help you look for it.

This activity accomplishes several things:

1. A fun and active morning routine

2. Fun floor play time

3. Heavy lifting

4. Joint compression and proprioceptive feedback

5. Practice for taking turns with siblings or parent

6. Awareness of pillows and their location in the house

7. Possibilities for sorting, learning words, and counting

After a few mornings of this activity, you may find they start collecting the pillows all on their own without you.

Something to Notice:
I would often find my daughter jumping, sometimes even subtly, and think she was being over active or impatient about something. After applying joint compressions to her arms and legs one day, I realized that she was self-coping. Her body needed that impact. Her jumping was giving her body the same feedback that my joint compressions did. Do you notice your child doing a behavior that is giving them feedback? When you learn to notice that behavior you can assist by offering an activity that will help.