Advice from the Occupational Therapist
Summertime occupational therapy (OT) tips for your students and families
Occupational Therapists (OTs) are vital partners for many teachers and families. They support daily activities that promote a child's ability to participate in a range of important life activities at home and in school. Here are a few activities you can do at home this summer, courtesy of our residential occupational therapist, Dr. B:
Summer Fun Developmental Activities from the OT!
Provide Outdoor Sensory Experiences: Walking in the grass, playing in sand, playing in water, mud, playing with sticks and leaves, etc.
Make sand castles and mud pies.
Provide buckets, shovels and water toys to scoop and pour water, sand and mud.
Provide opportunities to climb and move: a climbing wall, swing set, slide, etc.
Consider walking barefoot on grass, sand, dirt. Barefoot is best!
Provide tummy time for babies and toddlers. Toddlers can read books laying on the floor and propping themselves up on their elbows.
Lay a blanket outside and read books, color and paint. Painting outside helps contain the mess.
Blow bubbles with small wands and use big bubble wands to twirl big bubbles to run through.
Run through a sprinkler or use a Slip-and-Slide to run and slide on.
Play in a kiddie pool or wadding tool. Provide cups and toys to sink and float and pour and squirt.
Use colorful sidewalk chalk to write and draw.
All of these activities work through play to build strength, fine and gross motor coordination, balance and visual skills. Remember: If a child does not like something try introducing it again at a later time and introducing it several times over.
About Dr. B: Dana Berthiaume is a licensed Occupational Therapist who has been practicing for 25 years. She has worked in the schools for nearly two decades and has specialized training in development, sensory processing treatments, and autism. Dana currently resides in Michigan.