From dance recitals to football practice then homework, incorporating recommendations your child’s therapist may suggest can be hard to add to your already hectic day to day routine. Now that the school year has come to an end, it is a lot easier to work these things into your summer schedule. You will find that a lot of these activities are already things you plan on doing this summer or can easily add to your summer routine.
- A trip to the park
Adding a couple trips to the park is a great way to get all types of sensory input. When visiting the park make it a point to go on the swings, seesaws, merry go rounds, coiled spring horses, slide, etc. These are great ways to get vestibular input. Monkey bars, balance beans, and jungle gym are great ways to give input to the joints and help with coordination. The sensory fun isn’t just limited to the playground. Some parks also have water areas which is great for tactile input.
- Art and Crafts
Arts and crafts are summer’s go to! Whether you plan having your kiddo join a camp or stay at home, crafting is definitely on the list. There are tons of ways to work on tactile defensiveness when crafting. Try picking activities that include different textures such as glue, shaving cream, sand, rice, paint, etc. Creating slime and putty have been all the rave lately, make it fun by adding texture or even glitter. This will allow for exposure to different types of texture that can also help calm the sensory system. Sensory bottles are also a great craft idea that can be used afterwards as a calming tool.
Helping to make a simple recipe is great way to work on tactile input, sequencing, and fine motor skills. From the finding the items in the grocery store to helping stir, there are tons of ways you can make cooking fun and therapeutic. Cookie dough, peanut butter balls, Oreo truffles involve a lot of sticky components which are great for tactile input.
- Social Skills Groups or Camp
Even if your child is enrolled in activities this summer like a camp, social skills group, or just playdates. A lot of sensory needs and therapy techniques can be included in these environments. Social group and activities are great for working on attention, sequencing steps, modeling age appropriate behaviors, and increase confidence. Social groups are also a great way to work on tolerating social and increased auditory sensory situations.
P.S. Here at Children’s Therapy Works we offer Social Skill Groups during the summer and year round!
Hope this helps with planning some summer activities that are fun and therapy based. Comment and let us know if you plan on incorporating any these into your summer schedule.
Marjorie J. Louis, MSOT, OTR/L