At Home Therapy

Stress-Free Ways to Incorporate Your Child’s Therapy Into Your Daily Routine
Stress-Free Ways to Incorporate Your Child’s Therapy Into Your Daily Routine 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

Parents work so hard to juggle numerous hats. Between going to work, taking care of your little ones, and managing everything else life throws your way, finding time to work on your child’s therapy goals can be challenging. That’s why we always recommend you try to incorporate your child’s therapy into your daily routine. In doing so, not only will you be able to reduce your stress, but you’ll also get the opportunity to help your child improve their developmental skills. Our hope is that fitting your child’s therapy into your everyday life will make it easier on you and take some of that added pressure off your shoulders. 

Have Your Child Help Clean Up the House

Asking your child to help you clean up the house teaches them the importance of helping others and gives them a sense of responsibility. Here are some easy ways to incorporate therapy into your cleaning routine:

  • Have your child bend down to pick up their toys and toss them into a basket.
  • Ask them to sort laundry into bins and then push the laundry bins across the room.
  • Have them climb up onto a chair or step stool to help you wipe down tables and counters or wash some dishes.

Work On Your Child’s Skills During Bathtime

Bath time is an excellent opportunity to work on your child’s fine motor and language skills. If you’re interested in incorporating your child’s therapy into their bath time routine, here are some activities you can introduce to your child that we know they’ll enjoy:

  • Incorporate nesting cups into your bath routine. Have your child practice pouring water from one cup into another cup or stack them on the side of the tub. 
  • Place different colored ducks on the edge of the bathtub and ask your child to count them and identify the color of each duck.
  • Make art together! Draw on the bathtub walls using bathtub markers. 

Read a Bedtime Story Together

When your little one is ready to go to sleep, perform their nighttime routine, let them choose a book, and tuck them into bed. Then, as you read the book, stop occasionally and ask your child to identify different objects on the page. Once you are done with the story, ask your child some questions, such as how the story made them feel and what their favorite part was.

Here are some wonderful book recommendations that you can enjoy reading with your little ones.

Happy New Year from Pediatric Therapy Network! Keep an eye on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) all January long for more recommendations on stress-free ways to work on your child’s therapy during your daily routine. We will also be sharing tips, activities, resources, and more! Also, please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime to discuss if your child would benefit from pediatric therapy. We’re here to support you and your kiddos in any way we can.

Stuffed Animal Activities to Try on National Family Day
Stuffed Animal Activities to Try on National Family Day 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

With September comes two of our favorite holidays – National Family Day and National Teddy Bear Day! Having a caring and loving family is extremely important when it comes to a child’s development, as it allows them to work on their skills in a supportive environment. Further, stuffed animals are also an incredible support system for kids, as they are a source of comfort for many children during therapy and in challenging times.

A child’s family and their favorite stuffed animal play such a pivotal role in their development, which is exactly why we love celebrating these two holidays throughout the month of September. For this year’s celebration, we wanted to share some activities that you can try together as a family. Not only do these activities allow you to enjoy some quality family time, but they also incorporate your child’s favorite stuffed animal and work on developing your child’s fine motor skills, gross motor skills, balance, and speech. 

Ready to get started? From having a stuffed animal race to participating in a stuffed animal freeze dance and more – here are some great stuffed animal-based activities that your family can try on National Family Day and beyond.

Have a Stuffed Animal Race

Get ready to burn off some energy with a stuffed animal race! To begin, you and your child will need to come up with some obstacles they can complete while holding their favorite stuffed animal. For example, your little one can walk across a tape balance beam, stack three blocks on top of each other, and toss their stuffed animal friend into a basket. Time your child and see how long it takes them to complete the course, and then have them try to beat their time during their second run-through!

Paint Your Stuffed Animal Friend

Another great activity your little one will love is painting their favorite stuffed animal friend. Gather some paintbrushes, paint, and paper, and get ready to be creative! Set your child’s favorite stuffed animal in front of them where they can see it, and ask them to paint a picture of their furry friend. Once they are done and the painting has dried, sit down with your little one and have them use their imagination to create a story about their stuffed animal!

Try Stuffed Animal Freeze Dance

The final activity we recommend trying is stuffed animal freeze dance! Turn on some of your child’s favorite tunes and get ready to move. Your child will need to show off their favorite dance moves while holding their stuffed animal friend. But they’ll need to be careful! From time to time, you will need to pause the music, and your child will have to stop dancing and freeze. If your child can successfully freeze each time the music stops, they win!

Stay tuned and follow our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) all September as we continue to share fun activities, tips, toys we love, and so much more. Further, please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime to discuss if your child would benefit from pediatric therapy. Our team is here to support you and your child in any way we can.

Tips to Help Your Child Adjust to Going Back to School
Tips to Help Your Child Adjust to Going Back to School 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

Believe it or not, it’s almost time to send your kiddos back to school! This year has flown by so far, and although we aren’t ready to say goodbye to summer quite yet, now is the perfect time to start helping your little ones adjust from spending their days having fun in the sun to going back to school. However, we know that this is sometimes easier said than done. 

It can be challenging to prepare for the upcoming school year (especially if this will be your child’s first year of school), which is why our team wanted to share some tips to help make the transition go as smoothly as possible for your family. Our hope is that these tips will help get your child prepared and excited about going to school. 

Make a Designated Homework Area

Creating a space for your kiddos to sit down and do their homework will get them excited about doing their schoolwork. First, find a spot in your house your child can use to do their homework (and even consider asking your little one to help you pick out their special homework area). Now, have your child work on decorating that area by using their fine motor skills to draw some fun and colorful pictures. Your little one will love having their own “homework corner,” which will make the transition to going back to school that much easier.

Create a Bedtime Routine

One of the most important things you can do to help your child adjust is to create a bedtime routine. Getting your child into a solid bedtime routine now will help them when the school year starts and give them some time to relax and unwind at night. Some things that you can incorporate into your child’s bedtime routine include:

  • Have your child practice brushing their own teeth.
  • Sneak in some playduring bath time with bathtub crayons.
  • Let your child pick out which pajamas they want to wear and even try putting them on themselves.
  • Ask your child to point to or label animals or objects found in their bedtime story.

Ask Your Child How They’re Feeling

Going back to school can be difficult for some children, and it’s essential that you ask your child how they’re feeling. Take some time to sit down with your little one, and ask them to tell you how they feel about topics such as going back to school, making friends, being away from home, etc. This way, you can learn about your child’s concerns, address these concerns, and get them prepared to go back to school.

One book we love that talks about feelings – The Feelings Book by Todd Parr

Follow our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) all month as we continue to share back-to-school tips, resources, and much more. Further, please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime to discuss if your child would benefit from pediatric therapy. Our team is here to support you and your child in any way we can.

Celebrating Parent Appreciation Day With Relaxing Activities That Work on Your Child’s Skills
Celebrating Parent Appreciation Day With Relaxing Activities That Work on Your Child’s Skills 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

Although we are always so appreciative of our PTN parents, we love getting the opportunity to show our gratitude for each of you on Parent Appreciation Day. This year, Parent Appreciation Day is on July 23rd, and to celebrate, we wanted to share some activities that you can partake in with your children that also allow you to relax and unwind. From trying family yoga to gardening together and more – here are some relaxing activities that also work on your child’s skills. Enjoy!

Family Yoga

An excellent way to relax and get moving is to partake in family yoga. Yoga is a great way to exercise while relaxing your mind, body, and soul. Not to mention, yoga is perfect for working on your child’s gross motor skills and balance. If you have done yoga in the past, fantastic! Use your knowledge to guide your child through some simple yoga poses. But if you’ve never done yoga, this family yoga video is easy for your whole family to follow.

Play a Board Game

Another easy way to relax while working on your child’s skills is to play a board game together. Board games are a great way to spend quality time with one another, and believe it or not, many board games are great for working on your child’s skills. Although there are many board games to choose from, one we highly recommend is Candy Land. Candy Land helps your child work on color recognition and counting, and also allows them to work on their fine motor skills when rolling the dice and while moving their game piece around the board. 

Garden Together

One final activity to do with your little ones is to get outside and garden together! Gardening is very calming and a great way to bond with your kiddos. First, get a pot, fill it with some dirt, and dig a hole in the dirt. Now, have your child use their fine motor skills to grasp the seeds and place them into the hole, and then ask them to use their gross motor skills to pick up the watering can and water the seeds. Now, you and your little one can watch the plant grow and appreciate your hard work!

We wish you all a very happy Parent Appreciation Day! Be sure to follow us on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) all July long as we continue to celebrate our amazing PTN parents and share some fun activities, tips, and more! Also, please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime to discuss if your child would benefit from pediatric therapy. Our team is here to support you and your child in any way we can.

Fun in the Sun With Outdoor Therapy Activities
Fun in the Sun With Outdoor Therapy Activities 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

The weather is warming up, and summer is just around the corner! This can only mean one thing… it’s time to have some fun in the sun with your little ones! Being able to spend some time outside as a family is so special, and believe it or not, there are many fantastic outdoor activities that work on your child’s developmental skills. Whether you’re looking to run around and burn some energy, cool down with water play, or enjoy what nature has to offer, we have you covered. Ready to get started? Here are some of our favorite outdoor therapy activities that allow your family to have some fun in the sun:

Water the Plants: An excellent way to cool down in the hot sun is to have your child help you water the plants using a spray bottle. Walk around the yard with your little one and have them use their fine motor skills to squeeze the spray bottle and water any flowers and trees that they see. To incorporate your child’s speech, talk about what you’re doing and ask them to try and describe what the plant looks like, such as what color it is, how tall it is, the shape of the plant, etc.

Nature Scavenger Hunt: This next activity is one we always recommend families try out during the summer months. Start by grabbing a piece of paper and writing down a list of 5-10 things your child will need to find outside. For example, you may ask them to find something green, a small rock, a flower, etc. Now, your child will have to run around and use their gross motor skills to perform actions such as bending down and reaching high in the sky to collect the objects on the list. Once they’ve found everything, consider rewarding them with a refreshing treat.

Summertime Relay Race: Get ready to burn off some energy and get moving with a summertime relay race! With this activity, you’ll need to set up some fun obstacles that you and your child will have to complete. For example, you could have your child challenge their balance by having them jump over a sprinkler or walk across a chalk-drawn beam. They can even practice their fine motor skills by squeezing a squirt gun to try and hit a target. The possibilities are endless!

Beach Sensory Bin: If the heat becomes too much and you want to bring the fun inside, you and your child can make a beach sensory bin together. Start by gathering a container, some graham crackers, a pack of blue jello, and any small sea animal toys you have. Now, ask your child to use their fine motor skills to crush up the graham crackers to make sand, and let them assist you in making the blue jello to use as the ocean. Finally, pour the “sand” into one side of the bin and the “ocean water” into the other, and watch as your child uses their imagination to play for hours on end.

Follow us on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) all month for more fun in the sun activities, tips, resources, and more! Additionally, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time to discuss if your child would benefit from pediatric therapy. Our team is here to support you and your child in any way we can.

Games to Try During Better Hearing and Speech Month
Games to Try During Better Hearing and Speech Month 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM), which brings awareness to those living with communication disorders and some of the challenges they face throughout their daily lives. Each year, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) chooses a theme. In 2023, the theme is “Building a Strong Foundation”. One way you can help your child build a strong foundation is by incorporating speech therapy skills into your day-to-day activities. It does not have to be difficult. In fact, it can be fun.  

This year, in honor of BHSM, we wanted to share some games that you can try with your little one. Not only are these games interactive for your family, but they will allow you to incorporate speech therapy techniques while playing with your child. It’s a winning combination!

Guess the Chalk Drawing

Grab some chalk and get ready to use your imagination! Go outside and start by drawing an object using the chalk. Now, have your child use their speech to try and guess what you’re drawing. Once your little one has correctly guessed the object, switch roles and have them use their fine motor skills to draw an object. If your little one gets stuck while guessing, they can ask questions to help them figure out what you drew.  

Matching Opposites

This game is the perfect way for your child to work on their speech while also learning about opposites. Take a piece of paper and write down 10 pairs of words that are opposites (for example,  cat and dog, up and down, hot and cold, etc.). Now, cut out each word and have your child use their fine motor skills to draw a picture on the back of each paper to match the word on the front. Once they’re done drawing, have your little one match the opposites, and use their speech to say what the opposites are. 

20 Questions

This is another game you’ve probably heard of and maybe even played. First, start by thinking of a person, place, or thing. Now, your child will have to try to guess what you’re thinking about by using their speech to ask questions. If your child cannot correctly guess within 20 questions, the game is over! Once your child’s turn is complete, switch roles and have your little one think of something for you to guess.

What Animal Am I?

For this final game, write down 10 different animals on separate pieces of paper, crumple them up, and place them into a bowl. One at a time, ask your child to choose an animal from the bowl and have them use their speech skills to describe the animal to you. Once you have guessed all of the animals, place the paper back into the bowl, and prepare for the next round! In this round, your child will have to use their gross motor skills to act out which animal they are and use their speech to make the noise of that animal.

Follow us on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) throughout May for great tips, resources, and activities dedicated to BHSM.  Should you have questions about speech therapy or any of our other services, do not hesitate to contact us to discuss if your child would benefit from pediatric therapy. Our team is here to support you and your child in any way we can.

Our Favorite Books to Read With Your Kiddos During National Reading Awareness Month
Our Favorite Books to Read With Your Kiddos During National Reading Awareness Month 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

National Reading Awareness Month is celebrated throughout March and helps families understand the importance of reading to their children consistently. To get the celebration started this year, our team of therapists carefully selected some fantastic books you can read with your little ones during National Reading Awareness Month and beyond. These books have fun illustrations and meaningful messages and will also help your kiddos work on their therapeutic skills in the process. Enjoy!

Where is Baby’s Belly Button: As you and your child read this adorable book, your little one will need to use their fine motor skills to lift the flaps and identify specific body parts. After reading each page,  you can then ask your child to point to their own body parts. For example, the book may ask, “where’s the baby’s nose?” Once your child lifts the flap and points to the baby’s nose, you can then ask them to point to their own nose!

First 100 Words: First 100 Words is actually a book that contains no words (only images), which helps caregivers use simple language and sounds when engaging with the book. As your child gets a little older, you can begin to talk about the actions that the pictures in the book perform, so that your child is exposed to verbs and can expand their vocabulary.

Peek-a-Who?: We just know that your little one is going to love Peek-a-Who. While reading this fun and interactive book, your child will have to guess what object or character is hiding under the flaps while learning simple rhyming words in the process. One other great thing about this book is that it’s predictable, which helps kids anticipate and learn the routine of the book. 

Making Faces: A First Book of Emotions: This is the perfect book to help your little one start learning and understanding expressions and emotions. While reading the book together, you can teach your child emotion words while practicing those words with emotions. For example, being silly and naming it silly, being sad and naming it sad, being sleepy and naming it sleepy, etc. This is a simple way to emphasize early social-emotional skills.

Keep an eye on our social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest) all month long as we share more books we love. Additionally, if you would like to discuss if your child could benefit from pediatric therapy, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. We are here to support your family and child in any way we can.

Celebrating International Play Therapy Week With At-Home Activities
Celebrating International Play Therapy Week With At-Home Activities 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

February 5-11 is International Play Therapy Week, and we cannot wait to celebrate! Children thrive when they learn through play, and in fact, it’s been proven that people learn best from experiences that are joyful and that connect play to their lives. Additionally, play therapy is an excellent way to have some fun with your kiddos while also working on their therapy goals in the process. Ready to get the party started? From building a wooden block house to playing stuffed animal doctor and more – here are some at-home play therapy activities that we know you and your little ones will love.

Superhero Search

Your child’s stuffed animals are missing, and it’s their job to find them! First, you will need to go around the house and hide each stuffed animal (make sure they are in places your child can reach!) Now, it’s time for your kiddo to be a superhero and save the day! Your little one will have to use their balance and gross motor skills to crouch down and reach up high to save their furry friends. Once they’ve found each stuffed animal, switch roles and have your child hide the stuffed animals for you to find!

Stuff Animal Doctor (we recommend the Doctor’s Kit Play Set from Melissa & Doug for this activity)

For this activity, your child will have to use their gross motor skills to treat their stuffed animal using items from the Doctor’s Kit Play Set, while also utilizing their speech to tell you how their patient is feeling. If your child says that their stuffed animal is scared, this could indicate that your little one may be afraid of going to the doctor. In this case, you can explain to your little one why going to the doctor isn’t scary and that doctors are there to help people feel better.

Build a Wooden Block House

For our final play therapy activity, you and your child will need to work together to build a wooden block house for their toys. Have your little one use their fine motor skills to pick up the blocks and carefully stack them on top of each other, and once the house is built, they can use it to play pretend with their toys. Furthermore, you can work on your child’s speech by asking them to identify each letter or number on the blocks.

Happy International Play Therapy Week! Be sure to check out our social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest) all February long as we share activities, toys we love, and so much more. If you would like to discuss if your child could benefit from pediatric therapy, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. We are here to support your family and child in any way that we can.

3 Ways to Work on Your Child’s Therapy Without the Added Stress
3 Ways to Work on Your Child’s Therapy Without the Added Stress 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

Parents are some of the hardest-working people in the entire world. You wear so many different hats and are always trying to juggle your home life, work, and for some of you, school. But in reality, finding time to fit everything in can become overwhelming and could ultimately lead to you being stressed out.

To help take some of that pressure off your shoulders, we wanted to share some ways that you can work on your child’s therapy without the added stress. Believe it or not, there are many different ways to incorporate your child’s therapy into your everyday routine. Our hope is that you are able to use some of these ideas in your daily life so that you can work on your child’s therapy without worry.

Do a Family Workout

Partaking in a family workout with your kiddos is an excellent stress reliever. To begin, grab some blank pieces of paper, and work with your child to brainstorm some exercises (jumping jacks, pushups, etc.). Write down each exercise on a different piece of paper, lay them on the ground, and let the fun begin! Your child will have to use their balance to bend down and select an exercise, then you and your little one will have to use your gross motor skills to complete that exercise! Repeat until you’ve completed the whole workout!

Prepare Lunch Together

Another way to incorporate your child’s therapy into your daily routine is to prepare lunch together. 

First, have your child use their fine motor skills to stack and build a tasty sandwich. Once that’s complete, gather a few more items that you will enjoy for lunch (cut up fruit or veggies, fruit snacks, etc.) Now, allow your child to utilize their speech by asking them questions about each item. For example, you could have them identify the color, texture, size, and shape of each item. Finally, sit down and enjoy your nutritious and delicious meal together!

It’s Clean-Up Time!

Whenever it’s time to clean up around the house, get your child involved! Have your little one start in their bedroom or playroom and ask them to put their toys away. They will have to use their balance to bend down and pick up the toys, and then carefully place them back in their rightful place. If the toy is soft enough, encourage them to use their gross motor skills to throw the toy back into the bin. Other things your child can do to help you clean are drying dishes, wiping off the table, or even sweeping. If you want to make this something that you and your kiddos do regularly together, you could even consider making them a chore chart!

Happy New Year from all of us at PTN! Follow us on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) all month long for more suggestions on stress-free ways to work on your child’s therapy during your daily routine, as well as great tips, activities, resources, and more! As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time to discuss if your child would benefit from pediatric therapy. Our team is here to support you and your child in any way we can.

Toy Takeover 2022 – Supporting Local Stores and Sharing Toys Your Child Will Love!
Toy Takeover 2022 – Supporting Local Stores and Sharing Toys Your Child Will Love! 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

We hope you’re ready because it’s finally time for one of our favorite parts of the year… Toy Takeover! Each holiday season, our PTN therapists do their research and come up with a list of some fantastic developmental toys that we know your little ones will love. Not only will these toys help your child work on developing their play skills, but you can even purchase some of them at local toy stores around the city.

For Toy Takeover 2022, we wanted to highlight three fantastic toy stores that could really use your love and support this holiday season – Timeless Toys, Building Blocks Toy Store, and Emmerson Toys, Gifts, & Hobbies. Shopping locally helps our city thrive, and these stores will really appreciate your business.

Toy Takeover 2022 List:

Stacking Music Set (Shop Local)

This awesome toy comes with instruments such as a xylophone, drum, rattle, and scratchboard and is sure to keep your kiddos entertained for hours on end. Your child will have to use their balance and coordination skills to create some awesome music and march to the beat. Then, once you and your little one have made some fun beats, have them work on their speech and language skills by creating some silly lyrics!

Infantino Sensory Balls, Blocks & Buddies

One of our favorite toys to make the Toy Takeover list this year is the Infantino Sensory Balls, Blocks, & Buddies set. This set comes with a whopping 20 pieces, all of which can be used to help your child learn colors, shapes, animals, and textures. Your child can also work on their fine and gross motor skills by stacking the blocks or throwing the balls into a basket!

SmartMax My First Safari Animals (Shop Local)

Get ready to get a little silly with the SmartMax My First Safari Animals! Your little one will have to use their fine motor skills, animal recognition, and matching skills to put the cute creatures back together. Once your child has successfully matched all of the animals, let them show off their goofy side by creating their own animal combinations!

LeapFrog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket

Challenge your child’s imagination and pretend play by having an indoor picnic! Your little one will have to use their fine motor skills to carefully place the food into the correct hole and use their speech to describe each food’s color, shape, and size. Another great feature of this toy is that the picnic basket speaks and will ask your child to feed it a specific piece of food. 

Wooden Beehives (Shop Local)

The final toy on our list is colorful and a whole lot of fun to play with. Incorporate fine and gross motor play as well as speech and language skills all in one!  Your child can practice gripping and pinching the wooden tweezers and return each bee to its matching hive. Then, have your child work on their counting and color recognition, or encourage them to stand up and stack the hives on top of each other!

From all of us at Pediatric Therapy Network, happy holidays! To see what other toys made our 2022 Toy Takeover list, follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest), and be sure to sign up for our newsletter. All December long, we will be sharing more toy suggestions, fun tips, resources, and more!

Subscribe for free resources and news updates.

[contact-form-7 id=”169″]

Joing our Newsletter

Contact Us

Address:
38 Oatland Avenue Chicago, Illinois 283020

Tel: 0800 390 9292
E-mail: hello@movedo.com

All Rights Reserved ® Movedo 2018

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.