Day after day, people all over the world are replaying the same day over and over again… The youngest child wakes up the whole family at 6:15am (every day at the same exact time), you don’t even need to set an alarm anymore.
You get coffee because who can survive nowadays without any coffee? Your version of breakfast is probably very different than what it was a few months ago. As long as your children eat SOMETHING healthy, you’re good and you’re doing your job…
And then the day starts. Entertainment for the kids while you’re trying to get something done for yourself. The TV is on because you need some time and you want to avoid World War III in your living room...
Do you even have time to even cook lunch and dinner anymore?
Even if you wanted to go outside to change the scenery, it’s almost impossible with not many camps being open and not so many options given to you…
Parks are still closed around here, beaches are closed too, so what do you do?
You’re exhausted from trying to work from home and having to watch your children all day. And even if you’re a super star, you just want more guidance…
You end up looking for ways to keep your family safe and engaged in productive activities this summer. That is ALL you CAN do…
What CAN You Do?
There are so many things that we can do as parents to keep our children involved in positive ways.
Especially, during the summer, our children’s developmental needs can be met in a fun, relaxed manner.
Even with everything going on in the world today, your children are done with school demands… And if you remember, those demands have been very intense in the last few months.
Take the time to bond with your child over crafts and outdoor activities. Those are easy ways to fit in activities that are rich in development and sensory activities.
Even if your child is in occupational therapy, you can speak to your occupational therapist about ways in which you can enrich your summer.
Click here for summer activities that are based on age and development.
In here, you will find a list of resources for summer activities that are rich in sensory experiences and can boost the skills that kids need.
You’re also going to find a calendar where you can plug in these activities to help keep your family focused in including occupational therapy related activities for your summer days.
Whether you’re at home or traveling (if you’re one of the lucky ones), you can enhance your child’s summer with activities that work on handwriting, sensory regulations, self care skills and overall fine motor skills.
And even at home, this is a great time to get children involved…
When it comes to activities, the kitchen itself can present with many activities that are rich with sensory experiences and motor skills as well.
Playdough or Slime
Think of creating your own playdough or slime – which by the way, kids LOVE to do and it is very popular.
When you actively engage in activities like slime, you child practices many skills:
- Motor skills as he or she measures and pours.
- You can even get in reading skills and following directions as your child follows the recipe.
- Handling these mediums for our sensory defensive children can allow them to have a tactile experience that is fun.
Another great activity in the kitchen that works on heavy work for your child’s hands is making bread.
Your child practices many skills like:
- As you get your child to help with the kneading, pinching, pulling and squeezing, you’re getting your child to do heavy work or gain proprioceptive input.
- Proprioceptive input which is:
You may have heard the word proprioceptive input from your occupational therapist. Proprioceptive input explained simply is knowing where our body is and how it interacts with our environment. We provide this input through heavy work.
I think we best understand it by thinking of how exercise for us adult does that for us. When you walk outside getting tour power walk you are more aware of your surroundings.
That will bring me to my next place you can get in sensory experiences for your child. The sun is shining and beckoning us outdoors.
Here are some activities outdoors rich in sensory experience and vital for children for all children as well as children who are being treated for sensory integration difficulties:
- The beach (whenever it is open) offers tactile experiences through the sand and ocean water and proprioceptive input by touching the sand and feeling the weight of the water on one’s skin.
- The pool (whenever it is open or at a friend’s house) where one can gain proprioceptive input through the heavy work in swimming.
- The playground offers proprioceptive and tactile input as well as vestibular input. Vestibular input in simple terms is the body’s sense of movement. In the playground, the child was a rich environment to experience movement through rolling in the grass, climbing the jungle gym and swinging on the swings
Get into the pool, on the swings, jumping on the trampoline. The pool is wonderful for tactile input as your child is surrounded by water…
If you need help in locating the nearest pool, beach or playground that is open to the public, call your city official and they will be able to give you some options. Places are closed, but there are other places that might be open… We just need to do some research J
At Home Activities
- Rough House Play – Get kids upside down, spun around, and rolled around with some fun rough house play! Great fun and great for the vestibular system!
- Playing Music That Gets Kids Moving –Kids’ songs are great for encouraging kids to listen to and follow directions and to work on processing, timing, and sequencing.
There you have it!
Now your summer is going to be filled with amazing experiences that you and your child will enjoy. Those activities have great developmental factors and you’re going to love this summer.
Enjoy! Have fun!