at home therapy

Use Everyday Household Items During These Playful Occupational Therapy Activities
Use Everyday Household Items During These Playful Occupational Therapy Activities 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

Occupational therapy (OT) can be highly beneficial for your child. This is especially true if your little one faces sensory, cognitive, or physical challenges. OT is essential in helping your child learn and grow, which is why we look forward to celebrating Occupational Therapy Month each April. This month-long holiday provides the chance for us to share some helpful occupational therapy related tips, toys, resources, and activities. In honor of OT Month this year, we wanted to share some occupational therapy  activities that are fun and easy to do at home. The best part? These activities utilize items that you can find around your house! From constructing a sensory bin to making food necklaces and more. Here are some engaging, playful activities that use everyday items in inventive ways:

Make a Sensory Bin

Making a sensory bin from items around your house is an activity that your child is sure to love. They can help you decide what will go into the bin, and when the construction of the bin is complete, it’s sure to keep your kiddos entertained for a long time. One easy bin you can create is a “beach day bin.” Fill it with some brown sugar (sand), a bowl of water (the ocean), gummy bears (beachgoers), and some spoons (shovels). Your child will love pretending like they’re spending the day at the beach, and they can even shape and mold the brown sugar to create a brown sugar sandcastle!

Build a Blanket Fort and “Go Camping”

This activity is perfect for pretending like you’re camping in the wild in the comfort of your own home. Start by running around the house with your little one and collecting as many blankets as possible. Bring them into the living room, grab a few chairs, and make your fort! Help your child reach up high and tie the blankets onto the chairs, or tuck them into the couch cushions. Now, partake in some fun camping activities such as telling campfire stories, singing campfire songs, or consider even making some smores in the microwave!

Create Food Jewelry

One last OT-based activity you can try using items around your house is to create some delicious food jewelry. Find some string or yarn, and then gather food items that you can use to make your jewelry. Some ideas include noodles, round cereal, pretzels, or candy with a hole. Have your child carefully place each item onto their string one at a time, and then help them tie it to make a necklace or bracelet. When you’re all done, you and your little one can wear your jewelry and even sneak in a few bites!

Happy Occupational Therapy Month! Follow us on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) for more occupational therapy tips, resources, and activities. If you’d like to discuss if your child would benefit from pediatric therapy, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team is here to support children and families in any way that we can.

Tips to Help Your Child Transition Back to School
Tips to Help Your Child Transition Back to School 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

Fall is right around the corner, which can only mean one thing… our little ones will be heading back to school! Though it’s been an incredible summer full of fun in the sun, it’s time to help our kiddos get ready to return to the classroom. Whether your child will be attending school in person or virtually this year, it’s crucial that we, as parents, help our kids get prepared for whatever comes their way. Transitioning from relaxation and free time during the summer to daily classroom sessions can be an emotional rollercoaster for both you and your child. Fortunately, we have some excellent tips that you can incorporate into your child’s daily routine that will help them transition back to school with ease.

Get Back Into a Set Bedtime Routine

There are so many activities going on during the summer that can make it hard to stick to a bedtime routine. Now that school will soon be starting, getting back into a set nighttime schedule is so important. A consistent routine before bed allows your child to unwind and relax, and helps make it easier for your child to fall asleep. Consider starting with bathtime, then, allow your child to pick out their pajamas, next have your child brush their teeth and use the bathroom, and end with tucking your child into bed and reading them a story.

Create a Designated Area For Virtual School and Homework

No matter if your child will be attending school virtually or in person this fall, it’s essential to create a space for your child where they can take part in virtual learning and do their homework. Having a set spot where your child can do their schoolwork can help your little one better separate their school activities from their home life. Consider setting up a station where your child can access all of the supplies they’ll need and place an extra chair nearby for yourself if they need any help with their assignments.

Help Your Child Get Comfortable Wearing a Mask

It can be very tricky to get your child to wear a mask, especially if they have to wear that mask throughout the duration of their school day. If you’re having trouble getting your child comfortable with the idea of wearing a mask, here are some things you can do to help your little one adjust:

  • Allow your child to personalize their mask with stickers
  • Try on your masks together as a whole family in front of the mirror
  • Have your child wear their mask for short periods of time around the house and gradually increase the time each day
  • Have your child practice putting their mask on by themself
  • Discuss the importance of wearing a mask with your child and explain to them that a mask can help keep them safe and healthy
  • Reward your child anytime they successfully wear their mask in public or around the house

If you need help introducing your child to wearing a mask or if your child is sensitive about wearing a mask, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our occupational therapists for help.

Transitioning from summer fun to back to school can be challenging, but we hope that these tips can help make the process a whole lot smoother for you and your child. Follow us on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) all month long for more tips, resources, and activities. As always, if you find that your child is falling behind in their speech and language development, please don’t hesitate to contact our team to discuss if your little one could benefit from pediatric therapy. We are happy to help support your child and family in any way that we can.

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