Sometimes children seem to be completely unaware of colliding into furniture and people. They step on top of toys, bang their shoulder when going through door frames and move through other students or siblings when needing to grab the glue bottle.

Let’s discuss any and all methods to assist children in appreciating their body schema. Body schema means the correct awareness of the exact parameters of their body and as the child’s body matures and changes. Many moms will remember when our bodies underwent tremendous change during pregnancy. There were times when we forgot our dimensions and collided into doorways and other silly things.

A child’s maturation is similar in that they can have difficulty truly appreciating their body parameter. This is known also as body percept. Body percept is a child’s ability to, actually, perceive the physical dimensions of their body. Body schema is a term utilized to describe an individual’s sense of how their body operates in three-dimensional space.

We humans have come to understand the world as a three-dimensional physical experience. We see and experience length, height and depth. Early scientists helped us establish these measurements and we were able to begin to better understand the natural world because of this structured and mathematical view of the world.

Children need many, many fun and extremely non-outcome oriented opportunities to appreciate their height, depth and length as well as the three dimensional world. This involves roughhousing. Make time each day for your child to “play” with gravity. Using a trampoline, a swing, all the adventure playground equipment, scooters, tobogganing, walking on a very low balance beam and tumbling by somersaults, rolling, cartwheels and dancing are all examples of thrusting the body throughout three-dimensional space. The brain needs these experiences all of our lives. These experiences promote our body schema and body precept.

 I love downhill skiing because I have the opportunity to fall, roll, tumble and feel the texture of the cold snow against my skin. This is very alerting and “organizing” for my brain. I always laugh loudly even if I’m by myself. Other adults will enjoy yoga, exercise class, sports and walking. Just walking is extremely beneficial for making sense of the body and the environment we live in. When we “feed” our body schema, we improve our body precept and this is experienced as a calming, grounded sense of self.

Most importantly, a child needs to enjoy themselves in the physical world. Play is an essential developmental milestone and we have underrated this in our recent raising of young people. We do not play enough, long enough and in later years of our life. We need to get back to play to help organize our brain and help all of us better understand ourselves and the world around us.

Pin It on Pinterest