at home therapy

Stress-Free Ways to Incorporate Your Child’s Therapy Into Your Daily Routine
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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.

Tips to Help Your Child Adjust to Going Back to School
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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.

Games to Try During Better Hearing and Speech Month
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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.

3 Ways to Work on Your Child’s Therapy Without the Added Stress
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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.

Use Everyday Household Items During These Playful Occupational Therapy Activities
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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
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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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