What we did for occupational therapy time and why…
“But it’s summer. I don’t want to work on handwriting…” If you have heard this before, it’s okay because there are lots of things that we did this past week in our Sensory Play Group Summer Camp to build the skills that are needed for handwriting and other daily living skills. These activities were fun and do not require a lot of time or special equipment.
Lego and Duplo building- small pieces require strength to push together and pull apart, visual scanning skills are needed to look for certain pieces that are wanted out of the bucket, scooping with your hands through the pieces provide sensory input, attention and planning skills are put to use when creating.
Simple craft projects- there are many projects available that can be completed in just a few steps. Our project used markers to color in a wooden picture. Coloring on the wood gives more resistance and fingers have to work harder to keep control. We finished with using a sponge (or our fingers) to dab on glitter glue. This gave the project a shiny finish. For kids who have a hard time with art or crafts and don’t know how to get started, a project like this can feel more approachable, generally turns out looking nice and helps to build confidence to try it again the next time.
Window Art-using markers made for coloring on windows to decorate our room for the week. Writing on a vertical surface helps to promote holding the pen correctly. This is a “no fail” activity- if you don’t like how it looks you can erase and start over. There is also a lot of visual input with the activity and our group noticed how the pictures changed during the day based on the light that was shining through the windows.
Bubbles-No one ever outgrows bubbles! Blowing bubbles is a great way to work on building breath control and oral motor skills. Bubble solution on your hands provides lots of wet/slimy/sticky sensory input. Catching, chasing, and popping bubbles are great for motor planning and visual tracking.
Freeze dancing- Turn on your favorite music and move. We took turns being the “leader” and had others copy our movements. This builds motor planning, rhythm, and attention to be able to control movements.
Mixed Material Building- Take spare items that you have at home and add in some pipe cleaners, wikki stix, and tape to see what you can build out of it. You can start with a theme (such as a favorite sport, making a new “home” for a favorite toy, making a simple machine) if your child is having a hard time knowing where to start.