Big Pile of Pillows

It was 45 minutes until bedtime and my kids (6 and 4) were super amped up and high energy.

Some days I have the energy to start playing goofily with them in a way that I know will help them get the deep pressure body input they need in order to start settling and feeling regulated so their energy level matches what’s needed for bedtime. Today I was already tired. We were home all day and didn’t go anywhere and I’d already used all my energy roughhousing with them earlier, because kids need hours and hours of free play outside and since we couldn’t make that happen today, we were figuring out how to make it work in outside’s absence.

I gathered up all the pillows off the couches and threw them in a pile onto the floor, next to the big comfy chair the kids already like to jump on. I didn’t draw anybody’s attention to it or say anything, just left the pillows there. While I was at it, I figured I could vacuum out the couch too.

[image description: my kids on a big giant pile of large cushions and small couch pillows that’s just piled on the ground beside a big brown leather easy chair that they often use as a jumping platform too. Random ball pit balls are scattered all over the floor and the photo is taken from in front of the couch that the cushions were harvested from, which has been half-vacuumed out and is still scattered with crumbs. My kids’ faces are obscured with privacy stickers. End description.]

They began jumping around in the pile of pillows almost instantaneously. My daughter, who’s been exploring the concept of death and dying in play, jumped around until she fell over and loudly declared that she died every time. They made up elaborate scenarios of fire and lava and bad guys and jumped and jumped and jumped, giving their bodies heavy sensory input through especially the joints in their legs—their ankles, knees, and hips—as they took the impact of jumping and landing over and over on a bouncy, unstable surface. Their vestibular systems got irregular sensory input from the shifting ground and the movements in their head positioning as they jumped and played.

We have two couches which cost us a total of £50 when we got them almost three years ago. The cushions’ covers are pretty well trashed by now, some of the zippers are burst and some of them have just outright torn. We move again next summer so it’s not a huge deal to us. Obviously if you have an extremely fancy couch this isn’t your style and that’s fine, but I can’t say that I don’t recommend getting some form of a big pile of pillows or a mattress or a baby mattress the kids have outgrown or whatever on hand for when they’re bouncing off the walls.

[ID: pretty similar to above, except one kid has fallen “offscreen” and the angle is a little different. /ID]