summer time vastly approaching and school coming to an end, there are plenty of
inexpensive and fun ways to keep your children entertained. These ideas are not
only fun for your child, but can also help maintain some of the skills that were
being addressed in school. Tactile, gross motor, fine motor and
play/social skills will all be reinforced. So let’s get started, and let
the fun begin!
Make a Splash: Water is not
only refreshing on a hot summer’s day, but also is very therapeutic for your
child. You can go to a public pool nearby, fill a little plastic pool, lay out
a splash pad, or just play in the sprinklers. These are simple and easy
ways you can enjoy water activities with
your child. There are actually many benefits that your child can gain from
these types of water experiences, such as, tolerating touch, eye contact,
balance, gross motor planning and even learning water safety.
be thought of as messy instead of “fun” in a parent’s mind. But when the kids
are hot and ready to come inside you can actually keep them cooled off and
refreshed with this creative painting idea…so let’s beat the heat.
*Kool-Aid ice cubes: Try this way of fun
in the sun painting and get in a few licks to awaken their palate too. All you
have to do is buy Kool-Aid packages (variety of colors) and then place powder
in ice trays and pour in a little bit of water. You can place Popsicle sticks
in each one for easier grasping. This is great for kids that are tactile
defensive or need to work on their grasping skills to develop a tripod or
quadripod grasp. It’s tasty therapy.
: Have you ever colored with
a marker and then switched to crayons? When you colored with a marker you
probably realized you did not have to put much effort in drawing because
the ink glides on the paper. With a crayon you have to apply more pressure. The
same pressure is applied when using chalk. Chalk drawing provides a lot of
sensory feedback into the hands, forearms and shoulder joints therefore
allowing us to know where our body is in space. Side walks and driveways make a
perfect canvas for a rainbow of colors.
Park: Going to the park is a perfectly
free playtime activity. It allows children to explore the outdoor environment
and is a great tool for motor planning. While they are climbing ladders and
hanging on the monkey bars, they are building strength in their bodies. This
also allows them to interact with other children and enhances their social
easy and fun to have a productive and meaningful summer! Capture those special
moments and post them onto the TherapyWorks face book page=)
Erin Kizzar, MOT, OTR/L
TW Occupational Therapy Clinic Manager