Early Years – World of Play

Vestibular play ideas

Find out how to start engaging your child in fun movement and balance activities from a young age and start developing their vestibular sense.

Find out how to start engaging your child in fun movement and balance activities from a young age and start developing their vestibular sense.

Visit a playground

Playgrounds and parks are usually free to visit and are full of equipment to help them explore different movements. They can spin on a roundabout or a tire swing, climb on the equipment and bounce up and down on seesaws or outdoor trampolines. Even if there is no play equipment, you can have fun rolling through the grass, balancing on logs or jumping up and down in the leaves.

Visit a soft play centre

Soft play centres are purpose built to try and encourage vestibular movement. Don’t be afraid to take your child to these types of places, with supervision and support they can learn these movements despite their sight impairment. They may not learn as quickly, and they may need some help to master them independently but like with everything in life, they will get there.

Ride along toys

Toys that can roll along or slide with your child on or in them are great for exploring a different sense of movement. Think toddler cars, sledges and scooters.

Movement in dance

Music naturally encourages different types of movement so you can just enjoy some music time and let your child lead the movement. Action songs are a great way of introducing different set movements and getting to know different actions. Visit our song list for inspiration >

Introducing catch

The chiffon scarf included in the Early Years Sensory Discovery pack is a great way of introducing non-threatening catch to your child to build coordination. Jingly balls or the space blanket scrunched into a ball add an element of sound to the game for children with little or no vision.

Exercise ball

There are lots of activities you can do together with your exercise ball, it may soon become your next best friend! Visit the dedicated page for lots of activity ideas >

In the home

At home, items such as rocking horses, trampolines, bouncy chairs are great to help your child understand movements.

Use your space blanket!

The natural fun and excitement the space blanket brings with its loud noises and shiny surface makes it perfect for exploring movements. You can wrap and roll, stamp on it, or enjoy some tickle time/rough and tumble play.

Movement games

Try challenging your child to do different silly movements like walk on your tip toes, walk in slow motion, walk like you’re made of jelly. Play an animal game where you shout out different animals and they have to pretend to be them, for example, crawl like a crocodile… now hop like a frog.

Baby/child yoga

You could visit a class or follow a YouTube tutorial to start exploring different movements. Cosmic yoga have lots of different sessions to join in with once your child is old enough: youtube.com/c/CosmicKidsYoga


Proprioception is important to think about when your child has a vision impairment – it is the sense where they gather information about where their bodies are in relation to the space around them. When moving around with reduced vision, it is easy to understand why this sense is going to be extra important.

To help promote it, you could use indoor swings or hammocks or if you can’t have one of those at home, you can use a large blanket with an adult at each end to gently swing your child.

You can find more information on proprioceptive input here: empoweredparents.co/proprioceptive-input

Rebound therapy

Rebound therapy uses trampolines to provide therapeutic exercises provided by an experienced, specially trained physiotherapist. It is used to facilitate movement, promote balance, support an increase, or decrease in muscle tone and can be used as part of sensory integration treatment. Rebound therapy uses bounce, momentum and rhythm to facilitate active movement while being gravity free. It is appropriate for children who have a lack of awareness of body position, reduced sensation and problems with posture – these issues can often be noted in children who have a vision impairment.

Young people with vestibular needs may benefit from rebound therapy and it is offered around the country. This type of therapy isn’t suitable for every child so you will have to complete an in-depth referral form prior to being accepted.

To find a local facilitator by following this link:

Keep exploring…