Spring Break OT Activities for OT Month
Spring Break OT Activities for OT Month Author: Krista Flack, MS OTR/L
Occupational therapy activities can include some hard work, but they can be done through fun and games! If you’re looking for activities to carryover some of the skills being worked on in therapy, here is a list of some fun things to do, that you can start now while on spring break!
Attention span and executive functioning skills can be improved through games and tasks that require higher level thinking skills. Board games and card games like Battleship, Clue, and Yahtzee require sustained attention, problem-solving, working memory, and planning/organizing skills. Tasks like cooking and completing crafts or experiments with directions provide a great opportunity to work on initiation, following directions, and sequencing.
Use this time to go to the park, go for walks, and try out different sensory experiences around your home and community. There are some great local businesses in the community to try out big equipment (Ignite the Senses and GiggleBox, to name a few), but there are also opportunities within your own backyard, and even your home! From swinging, climbing, and spinning, to mixing up slimes and dry sensory bins in your kitchen, there are many sensations to experience. Watch how your child’s arousal level and demeanor changes when trying out these things; it can give you, and your child’s occupational therapist, clues about what his or her body needs to maintain a “just-right” arousal level.
Puzzles, games, and crafts often challenge fine motor and visual motor integration skills, without adding frustration. Try a project like stringing beads, modeling with clay, or making a collage! Mazes and dot-to-dots require precise drawing, which improve handwriting legibility. Choose games like Operation and Pictionary, or open up an I Spy book to improve visual perceptual skills.
With a week free from rushing through the morning to catch the bus, take a step back and see what your child can do on his or her own before stepping in to help. With busy schedules, it is tempting to offer help with dressing and other skills to speed up the process. Given extra time and just a little support, you may be surprised that he can cut with a knife, pour into a cup, take off his own shoes, or comb his hair. Children have a lot of ADL tasks to master, and most children love becoming independent with these tasks.