Practical Guide

How children build body awareness and how to support them 

Body awareness is an essential part of physical development, built through particular kinds of movement play. Find out which - and how busy your children are growing this aspect of their development. 

The Feeling of Me

Understanding more about body awareness and sensory processing changes the way we think about, and observe, children’s movement.

All completely new to me despite having worked in childcare for the last 12 years. Thoroughly enjoyed it and can see using this approach from now on. Simply brilliant!

Sarah Harper | CIW Registered Childminder

Notice and appreciate sensory-rich movement play

  • What is it? 

  • ​What kinds of movement play support it? ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

  • Where is it happening in your setting? ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

  • ​Which children seek it most? 

Learn about 4 core body senses that create body awareness


We are born with over half a million touch sensors all over our body which provide a constant stream of information that is vital to our survival, our learning and our wellbeing. It's a big job to learn to process all this information in helpful ways.


Proprioception: (or the body-map sense), gives us the internal, felt sense of where all our body parts are and helps us to co-ordinate them. Shut your eyes and you still know where all your limbs are without looking. Or reach down and touch your big toe with your forefinger ... and it is your proprioception that it telling you how to do it.

The Vestibular Sense

The Vestibular Sense: (or sense of movement) tells us where we are in space as we move, how fast we are going and how to adjust our body to maintain balance. And it plays a big role in our emotional foundations and how grounded we feel.


Interoception: tells us how we feel on the inside. Hungry, thirsty, tired, ill, anxious, happy, sad, confident … it provides the information we need to answer the question ‘How do you feel?’ And to regulate our selves in busy, demanding lives.