With summer around the corner and kids almost out of school, its time to let them free to enjoy their time off! Listed below are some awesome activities you and your child can do together that are not only fun, but beneficial in countless ways!
Your kids can run through crazy sprinklers, scoop and splash with a water table, make an awesome water wall, play with water balloons, squirt water pistols, or jump and play on a giant outdoor waterbed! Swimming Pools make a great addition too! Swimming is an amazing activity that promotes sensory integration, motor planning, spatial awareness, bilateral coordination, improved core and overall strength, and more.
Outdoor parks are the perfect place to build gross motor skills, fine motor skills, visual skills, sensory processing skills, and even social skills. Kids who crave proprioceptive input and need lots of “heavy work” can work their bilateral coordination, hand strength, and core muscles as they climb ladders and cargo nets and play on the monkey bars. Or they can get lots of good vestibular input as they slide, swing, and spin. Certain parks contain splash gardens that provide a much needed escape from the heat too!
Some fun games to get the large muscle groups of the body working include building an obstacle course (indoors or outdoors), playing with bean bags and playing games like Twister, Balloon Tennis, Toilet Paper Knock Down, Glow in the Dark Bowling, “Ice Skating” in the Living Room, and much more pretend games!
You didn’t think an OT would leave out fine motor play from a list of awesome summer activities, did you? Where to begin?! Some fun fine motor activities and games for school-age kids might include painting with a squirt bottle, squirting down a tower of cups, building marshmallow sculptures, or playing with LEGOs. Or they could create pictures with a Lite Brite, or play Connect 4, Uno, Kerplunk, Jenga, Operation, Angry Birds building and launching game, or Mancala.
Being involved in the food preparation process is not only fun for kids, it can actually be therapeutic for those who are picky eaters. You can try out recipes for different smoothies, homemade popsicles, fruit salads or veggie salads, sandwiches, and even homemade ice cream in-a-bag! Kids not open to the idea of trying new summer fruits or veggies? Encourage them to at least interact with the food by creating faces, letters, numbers, or other scenes on their plate/table.