In order for us to move and interact successfully, our senses must work both independently and together to help us ‘make sense’ of the world.
Vision, hearing, touch, smell and taste are often part of multisensory play, but three further senses, telling us about our bodies, are key to development: the proprioceptive, vestibular and interoceptive senses.
Specialised cells, in muscles and around joints, provide our brains with information on our body’s position – our proprioception detectors! Every time we squeeze or stretch a muscle or joint, our proprioceptive sense is activated. We increase proprioceptive input with hard muscular work and physical activity. Examples of proprioceptive-rich activities include pushing, pulling, squeezing and stretching.
Why it’s important
Our proprioceptive sense increases our body awareness and keeps us safe. Using proprioception, we can negotiate obstacles and hold objects with the right amount of pressure. It also supports self-regulation. Our bodies seem to enjoy proprioceptive input. It is often called the ‘safe sense’ as proprioceptive-rich activities help us feel ‘grounded’ and ’just right’.
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