Everyday, Simple Idea #5: Crash Pad

I am sharing some of the simple, daily things I do at home as a Mom that come from my occupational therapy background.

#5 Crash Pad

Children are going to jump, climb, and crash, so give them somewhere safe to do it!  Movements that involve the whole body are called “gross motor” movements.  Children need large amounts of gross motor movements to help  their developmental in all areas.

child jumping into crash padWe invested in a large, foam filled chair (called a Fluf chair on Amazon).  Well worth the money.  It has held up for almost 2 years now of wear and tear from toddlers.  My only complaint is that the cover is not washable, and stains with children are inevitable (Skil-pad makes a more cleanable version).  I’ve seen lots of versions of crash pads- from several large dog beds stacked together to old mattresses or pillows in a pile.  It doesn’t matter how it is made as long as it is safe.

As a pediatric occupational therapist, I hear a lot from parents that their children are “too active” and “unsafe.”  My best advice is to find some way to make it safe to jump and crash because children’s bodies want and needs this input to help them develop.  Movement is critical to the development of the sensory processing and self-regulation areas of the brain, and intense jumps and crashes give proprioceptive input that can help the brain organize and calm.   While it seems counter-intuitive, having a child go jump and crash for 10 minutes, often results in a calmer and more well-behaved child.crashpad2

Paige Hays is an occupational therapist who provides in-home, pediatric occupational therapy services in the south metro area of the Twin Cities, MN. She is a mother of 2 girls, avid DIYer, and a highly skilled and experienced OT. She specializes in working in pediatrics, with diverse expertise ranging from cognition and sensory issues to working with children with neuromuscular disabilities or complex medical needs.