When a person enters a Head Start or Early Start classroom where I work, they can sometimes see children wearing pressure vests and they wonder what that super hero or ballerina is wearing?
I like to make costumes out of them to inspire the children I’m working with to try them on. When it comes to working with kids, you gotta make the educational work fun not just for them but for yourself too.
Why are Pressure Vests Beneficial for Children?
Pressure vests are vests that are made from neoprene material. They are built to provide a steady “hug” at the core. One of the many reasons I have children wear pressure vests is because they are so helpful at building the proprioceptive sensory system, that body awareness system that let’s us know what shape we are holding and what size we are from the inside.
The Importance of Fully Developing Your Proprioceptive System
Having a fully developed proprioceptive system enables us to know how much space we have between ourselves and others as we walk through a crowd. We can maneuver around objects, perfect our best dance moves and watch an exercise video while imitating the instructor.
Some of the ways a fully working proprioceptive system supports kids is to not hit out in fear of other children bumping into them, correctly maneuvering around furniture and doorways, realizing how high to lift their foot up for a step, how to direct their bottom to the seat of a chair without looking, and much more.
This is one of the reasons I use pressure vests with children. If you are looking for some more information on pressure vests and their benefits for child development, this is my favorite resource- http://www.pressure-vest.com/.
If you do get a pressure vest, be sure to jazz it up with a costume or let them put fabric paint on it. This can be a fun art project to do in your Early Start or Head Start classroom, plus, then the kids can wear them without even realizing their developing their body awareness.
Enjoy your day and thank you for working with kids!