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 'Heavy work activities' with oomph!

'Heavy work activities' with oomph!

If you're wondering "what on earth is heavy work?" then please head over to this blog post to see what it's all about.

I love heavy work activities... especially when they involve power sharing between adults and children. For example the tiniest child pulling the adult, the toddler making a bridge for the adult, even though the adult is not small enough to fit through. This seems to mean so much to children. What we're saying to them is

"You're powerful"

"You can be in charge"

And these are powerful messages, mixed with the equally compelling 'heavy work' experience and can boost a child's sense of self, their self-esteem and their well-being.

Here are some favourites:

Creating nests for each other and encouraging children to make nests for adults... really squashing each other...


Making a lycra 'pocket' for a child so he can push, pull, roll. We can also make lycra pockets for adults too (although they always say "you'll never lift me!" and we always do).


Making tunnels so that the children can experience being strong and still, pushing the floor and pushing down on the adults so the bridge doesn't fall down. It's really empowering for the children to be the one created the experience for the adult. 

And of course the example I used last week - pulling - at the start of this film below you can see even a toddler can get involved (helped cheekily by his mum of course). 

If you've got the right kind of floor, why not try a sliding activity - making sure that the children get a turn to slide the adults. It's a lovely calming feeling to be slid, go on lie on the floor, have a slide.... 

Helping babies feel heard

Helping babies feel heard

Boisterous boys. Why pushing and pulling needs to be part of your early years practice.

Boisterous boys. Why pushing and pulling needs to be part of your early years practice.