time and time to play, but why not continue the learning as well with some OT
fun. As kids play in the summer and focus on all the fun activities, there
are ways to incorporate and maintain the skills they have learned throughout
the year while learning through play. Here are some ideas to do this summer to
incorporate some fun OT skills!
skills and Handwriting
a summer journal- have them write out one entry per day of what they did during
that day. If working on reading skills, have them read aloud at the end of the
week to remember all the fun things they did throughout the week! If they are
not writing sentences yet, have your child draw a picture of their favorite
thing that happened that day. This works on pre-writing shapes and drawing that
is necessary for letter formation and will help improve visual motor skills as
cereal necklaces on stretchy string so that they can wear throughout the day
for a little snack. Lacing cereal such as cheerios or fruit loops works on
grasping small objects as well using both hands to lace onto the string.
and painting pictures with water colors is always a great way to improve grasp
on different writing utensils. Also, using a vertical surface such as taping
paper on a window or refrigerator, will promote improved grasp and proper hand
positioning for handwriting. This is also great to pack for those summer
letter pieces then to written form with magnetic letters on the refrigerator.
If you need to take a road trip then bring along a cookie sheet that can be
used as a table. This helps practice letter identification, sequencing, name,
various puzzles (interlocking or insert). You can make it more challenging by
hiding it in a rice or bean bin and have them locate pieces. You can also hide
them in various parts of the house and make it into a scavenger hunt by having
them follow verbal or written directions. This works on listening and
a maze with sidewalk chalk on the driveway and have them follow with their bike
or scooter, making sure they stay within the path and working on
problem-solving to find the end.
and various pool activities are a great way to get multi-sensory input with
kids. Games such as basketball, searching for dive sticks underwater, playing
“red light, green light” working on motor coordination and modulation allowing
them to control their bodies when stopping or going.
Twister- it’s the regular Twister game board with a twist!! Place matching
paint on the colored spots and play as directions instruct, except a lot
messier!! This is suggested to play outside…unless you want multi-colored
carpet!! Great for motor planning, right/left discrimination, and tactile
your own slime by taking 1 cup clear liquid glue + 1 cup of liquid starch.
Separate into small bowls and add food coloring. Then squish, stretch, and play
with slime! Very good tactile sensory play.
By Kati Thomas COTA/L
Clinic Therapist – TherapyWorks