What is a Weighted Blanket?
When you go to bed at night, do you like a heavier or lighter blanket? Do you enjoy the feeling of the sheets tucked in or out? What brings you the most comfort so you can sleep? The feeling of a blanket on you feels inherently comforting and safe. This is part of why children enjoy using weighted blankets.
A weighted blanket is a sensory tool that provides pressure to a child, and it helps to develop their proprioception and body awareness. It can help to calm or settle a child when they are in seated positions. They can be used by children who have a diagnosis such as sensory processing disorder, Autism or children without a diagnosis, who benefit from the pressure because they struggle with staying calm in a resting position such as circle time.
Children Rest Better When They Use Weighted Blankets
In one of the Early Head Start Centers where I consult, I recommended the use of a weighted blanket for a preschooler. She had always slept with her eyes slightly open. Since she received a weighted blanket for use at rest time, she has slept with her eyes closed. Perhaps, she can rest because she can feel where her body is, that she is safe and everything is together and protected. I talk a lot about the use of weighted blankets in my training. If you want more information on the topics I cover, check out my speaker page.
After I train teachers and caregivers to understand the proprioceptive system and why body awareness is important in a child understanding they are safe, secure and have a good sense of their body makeup, they get a much clearer understanding of why and how to assist a child in developing their proprioceptive system.
Benefits of Children Using a Weighted Blanket
The whole classroom benefits from children that have a greater feel for their inner body awareness because the children won’t hit out of fear of being bumped into, they won’t run into or crash into other children, they can sit taller and manage to sit longer, they will fall asleep easier at rest time, and they can use a pencil or scissors with greater coordination. The proprioceptive system has a big job!
Buy a Weighted Blanket for Your Classroom
To summarize, the use of a weighted blanket is one tool in assisting a child to gain a greater understanding of their proprioceptive system as well as help them calm down at rest time. If you’re interested in purchasing weighted blankets for your classroom, click here. If that one doesn’t fit the bill, here is another option.
You can also have some fun and make one. When you are making the weighted blanket, make sure it isn’t too heavy. 10% of a child’s body weight is a good rule of thumb. Watch this video to understand how to make a weighted blanket.
Don’t use weighted blankets on children under the age of one. For more information on using a weighted blanket, check out this wonderful FAQ page.