Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

November 21, 2016

Body Sock wrap-up from an occupational therapist


Body socks are a fun activity used regularly in occupational therapy.  They are a long-time favorite of occupational therapist Jessica Hoffarth MS OTR/L from Child and Family Development- Midtown office. 

She found this useful article on Growing Hands On Kids that explains the “WHAT” and “HOW” of body socks for both home and classroom use. According to the author:

  • WHAT: For children who crave sensory input, particularly proprioceptive and vestibular input, the sensory body sock is a fun and different way to get this input. Sensory body socks are very stretchy and provide resistance when you move in them. This provides deep pressure through the joints (proprioceptive input) and when you move around in different ways, this provides the vestibular input (balance and movement in space).
  • HOW: Pop Game, Rolling, Bunny Hop Race, Alphabet Game, Quiet Time; There are countless ways to use a body sock!

Jessica adds these ideas:

  • Be mindful when your child is walking around in it that it can be very slippery on hard floors. 
  • In addition to a body sock for quiet time, use deep pressure for calming kids when they are upset, especially for sensory seekers.  I tell a child to hug themselves as hard as he can, to squeeze his hands into fists, or intertwine his fingers and squeeze as hard as he can.  Pulling a body sock tightly around you (to an individual’s comfort level) can help make that hug even more soothing. 
  • If you don’t have a body sock, try curling up inside of a jersey knit pillow case.  I recommend reinforcing the seams or adding some Velcro to the opening to help it close partially, but this is a good option for an at home version, even with the pillow in it if the child can fit and is properly supervised. 

Learn more about occupational therapy and sensory processing here.

Read the full article here.

Contact our office to schedule a free phone call with our occupational therapists.