at home with PTN

How to Incorporate Therapy Into Your Child’s School Routine
How to Incorporate Therapy Into Your Child’s School Routine 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

Believe it or not, sending your little ones back to school is just around the corner (trust us, we can’t believe it’s that time of year, either!) This means that it’s time to start getting all of your child’s school supplies ready and start preparing them for their school routine.

Transitioning from summertime fun to going back to school can be tricky, and you may find it difficult at times to fit in your child’s therapy. But we’re here to tell you that it’s actually quite simple to incorporate therapy into your child’s everyday school routine. From doing yoga to using a bedtime chart and more – here’s how to incorporate therapy into your child’s school routine:

Do Some Morning Yoga: Participating in a family yoga session each morning is an excellent way to work on your child’s balance and coordination. Take 5-10 minutes before your child goes to school and follow along with a family-friendly yoga video. This will allow you and your child to spend time together doing a healthy activity and set you both up for an excellent start to the day.

Give Your Little One a Healthy Snack: If you send your child to school with a snack or lunch, be sure to pack them an orange or clementine. Why, you may ask? Well, once your little one is ready to eat, they’ll have to carefully peel the fruit, helping them develop their fine motor skills. Plus, they’ll get to enjoy something nutritious and delicious!

Ask About Your Child’s Day: Incorporating speech therapy into your child’s schooltime routine is as simple as asking them about their day. While you and your family sit down for dinner, ask your child to describe three things that happened during school and how each of those events made them feel. You could even ask your child questions such as their favorite part about school, what they enjoy doing during recess, and one thing they learned that day.

Use a Bedtime Chart: Our final tip is to utilize a bedtime chart. Write down all the things your child has to do before settling into bed, and hang that chart somewhere your child can reach. Then, have your child perform each of these tasks each night, and once they are complete, they can peel off a sticker and place it onto the chart! This will help them become familiar with their bedtime routine while working on their gross motor skills in the process.

Happy back to school! Check out our social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest) all August long as we share back-to-school tips, 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.

Ways to Use Technology to Work on Your Child’s Therapy
Ways to Use Technology to Work on Your Child’s Therapy 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

Summer is just around the corner, which can only mean one thing… Your little ones are out of school and are back at home during the day! While it’s great that your kiddos will be around the house more, it also means that you’ll need to find ways to keep them entertained while also working on their skills in the process. A wonderful way to accomplish this is to utilize the technology around your house. Though we should try to monitor our children’s screen time, technology in small doses can be extremely beneficial and will help keep your little ones entertained. 

From watching educational videos to partaking in family workouts and more – here are some excellent ways to use technology around your house that work on your child’s therapy:

Find Videos on YouTube Kids: YouTube Kids is full of educational videos that will help your little one work on their skills. With YouTube Kids, you can feel comfortable knowing that each video is specifically made for kids and are age-appropriate. Some of our favorite types of videos on the platform include:

  • Fun musical videos that your kiddos can dance to
  • Simple crafts that your child can make
  • Kid’s yoga videos that work on your child’s physical therapy
  • Cute nursery rhymes your child can sing along to

Print Out Pictures: Have your child sit next to you and search for a cute page full of fun objects. For example, you could search for cartoon animals, flowers, or houses. Print out the page, and have your child use their fine motor skills to color each object. Once they’re done coloring, they can cut out each object and use them to play pretend!

Play Games During a Video Call: Set up a time where your child can call up their loved ones (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) and have them play fun games during the video call. Some game ideas that are fun for the whole family include:

  • 20 questions
  • Simon Says
  • Charades
  • Pictionary

Partake in a Digital Family Workout: One final way to use technology to help work on your child’s therapy is to partake in a digital family workout. Look online for family-friendly workouts, and select one that looks like you and your little ones will enjoy. Make the workout fun by playing upbeat music in the background, and reward yourselves afterward by eating a delicious and healthy snack!

Follow us on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) all month long for more awesome ways to work on your child’s therapy using technology. We will also be sharing 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 both you and your child in any way that we can.

Bedtime Tips to Help Your Child Fall Asleep More Easily
Bedtime Tips to Help Your Child Fall Asleep More Easily 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

Ensuring that your little ones have a sufficient amount of sleep each night is crucial as it can play a huge factor in their learning and development. Though, we understand that getting your child to perform their bedtime routine is not always the easiest task. Children often get fussy, like to get in and out of bed, and may ask to stay awake “just a few minutes longer.”  We know it can be difficult, and that’s why we wanted to share some of our favorite bedtime tips that will help your child fall asleep more easily. We hope that these tips will make your little one’s nightly routine go a whole lot smoother, and take a little bit of stress off your shoulders.

Give Your Little One a Nightly Bath: One of the first things you may want to incorporate into your child’s nightly routine is bathtime. Not only is taking a bath fun for children, but it can also promote relaxation and you can work on your child’s therapy goals by playing with waterproof toys such as these farm animal bath toys. Ask them to identify each animal one at a time and have them make the noise of that animal. Your child can also work on their hand strength by squeezing the cute toys to shoot the water out of them!

Read a Bedtime Story: Reading your child a bedtime story is an excellent way to help them relax each night. While reading, have your child work on their speech skills by asking them to identify specific colors, animals, and objects on the page. Then at the end of the book, you can continue the conversation by asking them what they enjoyed the most about the story. Our favorite part about this tip is that it allows you to spend some time snuggling your child while also helping them feel calm and relaxed in the process.

Trade Screen Time For an Activity That Promotes Relaxation: Tablets, phones, and computers all emit blue light, which interferes with sleep. So instead of handing your little one an electronic device at night, have them partake in an activity that promotes relaxation. You could have your child listen to calming music, work on their fine motor skills by drawing a picture, or suggest that they play pretend with their favorite stuffed animal.

Get Into a Routine: Try to put your child to bed at the same time each night and perform a consistent bedtime routine with them. For example, if you want your child in bed and asleep at 8:00 PM, you may want to begin their bedtime routine at 7:00 PM to ensure that you can fit in all of their bedtime tasks (taking a bath, putting pajamas on, brushing teeth, reading a story, etc.) Get your little one involved and excited to perform their bedtime routine by making them a task chart and getting a sheet of colorful stickers. They can then practice their fine motor skills by peeling a sticker off the sheet and placing it next to each item they’ve performed that night.

Happy Sleep Awareness Week! You can find more great resources and learn more about Sleep Awareness Week by visiting the National Sleep Foundation website. Be sure to keep an eye on our social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest) all month long as we share helpful tips, resources, activities, and more! As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss if your child would benefit from pediatric therapy. Our team is here to support both you and your child in any way that we can.

Stress-Free Ways to Incorporate Therapy Into Your Daily Routine This New Year
Stress-Free Ways to Incorporate Therapy Into Your Daily Routine This New Year 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

From our PTN family to yours – Happy New Year! We have enjoyed working with each of our PTN families this past year and are looking forward to working with you in 2022 and beyond. We understand that the last few years have been a whirlwind full of uncertainties, but we are extremely hopeful for the new year ahead.

To help start off the new year on the right foot, we wanted to take some of the stress and pressure off by sharing some ways that you can easily incorporate your little one’s therapy into your daily routine. Parents are some of the most incredible people in the world and will do anything to help their children succeed. Unfortunately, parents tend to forget at times that they need to take care of their well-being, too. Our hope is that these ideas will help take some of the stress off of your shoulders, while seamlessly allowing you to work on your child’s therapy goals during some of your day-to-day activities:

Take a Trip to the Grocery Store

One way to incorporate your child’s therapy goals into your daily routine is to take them along with you on your next trip to the grocery store. As you walk up and down the store aisles, have your child help to identify, label, or count items that they are placing in the cart, and ask them to describe each item. For example, if you are purchasing some apples, ask your child to describe the color of the apples and then proceed to ask them if they like apples. Finally, give your child some information about the item. In the case of an apple, you could tell them that they’re nutritious and will help make them grow big and strong! Handwriting goals? Have your child help you write out the grocery list ahead of time. 

Sort Laundry

Even if we (as adults) may not like doing laundry, you’ll be surprised at how much your child will enjoy sorting it! Have your little one sit down with your clean laundry pile, and ask them to sort it for you into piles by the color of the clothing item or by the type of clothing item. Another fun thing that you can do during this activity is to ask your child what part of the body each article of clothing goes on and then have them describe their favorite pieces of clothing!  Work on your child’s motor planning and strength by having them climb in and out of the laundry basket.

Get Ready For Bed

Get your child involved during their bedtime routine. First, ask your little one what pajamas they would like to wear and have them help you put them on. Ask questions about their pajama choice, including the color, if they’re soft, and what characters or objects can be seen on the pajamas. Have them practice stair-stepping by offering them a step stool to climb in order to reach the sink when brushing their teeth.  Another thing you can do is have your child pick out what book they want to read for their bedtime story. While reading the book, ask them questions about the book, and then discuss how your child felt about the story at the end. Your little one will love being able to have a say during their nighttime routine.

We know that 2022 will be an incredible year and hope that these activities will make it easier (and less stressful) for you to work with your child on their therapy throughout the day. 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 both you and your child in any way that we can. Here’s to an incredible year ahead!

5 Fun Activities to Work on Your Child’s Physical Therapy At Home
5 Fun Activities to Work on Your Child’s Physical Therapy At Home 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

October is National Physical Therapy Month, and we are ready to kick off the celebration! National Physical Therapy Month helps raise awareness of all the excellent benefits that come along with physical therapy, such as improving range of motion, flexibility, strength, balance, and much more.

Physical therapy is such an incredible tool for helping children and adults alike, and working with a physical therapist can genuinely change a person’s life for the better. On days that your child isn’t going to see a physical therapist, there are some wonderful activities that you can take part in as a family that will help work on their gross motor skills. Ready to get started? Here are 5 fun ways to get your child moving at home:

1. Animal Walk

Get ready to bring out your silly side! Place a piece of tape on the floor of one side of your living room and then another piece of tape on the other side of the room. Now, have your child walk like an animal from one piece of tape to the other. For example, you could have them walk like a crab, hop like a frog, walk like a dog, etc. Get creative and try to come up with as many different types of animal walks as you can think of!

2. Floor Ice Skating

If you don’t have time to visit an actual ice skating rink, bring the ice skating rink to your home! Grab two paper plates and have your child sit down and draw their best ice skate on each plate. Once they’re done, find a spot in your house where your child can skate the night away! Help them carefully stand on their skates, and then tell them to slide around on the “ice.”

3. Wheelbarrow Race

For this activity, you’ll need to work with your child to try and get from one point to the other as fast as you can. The tricky part? You’ll need to hold their legs up while they walk with their hands, mimicking a wheelbarrow. Grab a timer and see how long it takes you to get from point A to point B. Repeat the activity, try to beat your time, and see how fast you can go. If you have 4 people in your house, you can race against each other in teams of 2!

4. Traffic Light Stop and Go

You may want to bundle up for this next activity as it works best if you’re outside. Try to find a wide-open space where your child can run around, such as your yard or a park. You’ll begin on one side of the yard, and your child will start on the other side. When you’re ready, yell out “green light” and watch as your child starts running towards you. After a few seconds, you’re going to yell out, “red light.” Your child will need to stop in their tracks as quickly as possible. They must stay still until you decide to call out “green light” once again. Continue the game until your child makes it all the way to your side!

5. Toy Toss

This activity is an excellent way to work with your child on their eye/hand coordination while also cleaning up their toys in the process. First, you’re going to want to grab the basket or bin that you use to store your little one’s toys. Now, have them run around the room as fast as possible and grab each toy one at a time. Once they have a toy in hand, tell them to aim and toss it into the basket. Continue until all of the toys have been cleaned up!

Be sure to keep an eye on our social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest) all month long as we celebrate National Physical Therapy Month! We’ll be sharing 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 both you and your child in any way that we can.

Ways to Work on Your Child’s Development Using Their Favorite Stuffed Animal
Ways to Work on Your Child’s Development Using Their Favorite Stuffed Animal 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

Stuffed animals truly are one of a child’s best friends. They comfort your little one in times of need, allow them to express themselves, are an excellent travel buddy, can help them fall asleep easier, and are the perfect playmate. Stuffed animals are one of the most special things in the world to a child and can help them grow in so many ways. We know that children have a special attachment to their furry friends, and considering that National Teddy Bear Day is on September 9th, we wanted to honor their special friend by sharing some ways for your child to work on their development using their favorite stuffed animal. From fine motor skills to speech development to balance and everything in between – your child will love getting to use their favorite stuffed animal to work on developing their skills. That said, here are some of our favorite ways to work on your child’s development using their favorite stuffed animal:

Stuffed Animal Rescue: Find a spot around your home and hide your child’s stuffed animal (make sure it’s in a place they can reach). Then, tell your child that their favorite stuffed animal has gotten lost and they need to be rescued by a superhero! Allow your little one to run around with a makeshift cape and search for their furry friend. Once they locate their stuffed animal, consider switching roles and have your child hide their toy for you to find.

Obstacle Course: In this activity, your little one will need to hop, skip, and jump through obstacles to get to their stuffed animal. Time your child each time they run the course and see if they can beat their time! Even though there are so many fun and creative obstacles that you could come up with, here are some of our favorites:

  • Jump from one hula hoop to another
  • Throw a ball into a bucket
  • Spin around three times
  • Crawl under a jump rope that’s attached to two chairs
  • Do your best dance move

Once your child has completed each obstacle, have them grab their teddy bear and yell the word “done.” This indicates the end of the course and lets you know when to stop the timer. 

My Favorites: Get your child talking to their furry friend by sharing some of their favorite things. Sit in a circle with your child and their stuffed animal, and then proceed to ask your child what their favorite things are. For example, you could ask about their favorite color, food, activity, book, animal, song, and game. Now, have your child answer with their favorites as well as their stuffed animal’s favorites. Once you’ve run out of questions, have your child ask you about some of your favorite things.

What Am I: If your child has more than one stuffed animal, gather each toy and place them all in a bin. Place the bucket of toys in a different room where you can’t see, and then proceed to sit in the living room. Have your child go to the bucket and pick out a stuffed animal one at a time. Once they’ve made a selection, have them run back into the living room and act out the type of animal they chose. Your little one will make movements and sounds of that animal until you can correctly guess the right answer. Repeat until they’ve acted out all the different animals.

Be sure to keep an eye on our social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest) all month long as we share additional activities that your child can do with their favorite stuffed animal friend! 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 both you and your child in any way that we can.

Small Ways to Sneak in Self-Care With Child Development Benefits
Small Ways to Sneak in Self-Care With Child Development Benefits 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

Although we are so thankful for all of our PTN parents year-round, we get the chance to express even more gratitude each July in honor of Parent Appreciation Day! This year, Parent Appreciation Day falls on July 25, and to celebrate, we wanted to share some small ways that you can sneak in self-care throughout your day. Parents work so hard and truly are superheroes. This is why it’s crucial to take some time out to practice self-care so that you can keep your mind, body, and soul healthy. The list of activities we put together can fit into your daily routine, be done as a family, and have numerous child development benefits. Enjoy!

Exercise Together

Take some time out each day to get in some exercise as a family. There are so many health benefits that come from moving your body such as stress relief, improving your physical and mental health, and improving your mood. The best part of this activity is that it can be done in many different forms. You could try biking, hiking, swimming, dancing, or simply going on a walk around your neighborhood. You’ll notice that your whole family’s mood will improve after taking part in an exercise session together.

Write in a Journal

Take some time at the end of each day and reflect by writing in a journal. Sit with your little one and write down all of the activities you took part in, what emotions came about during those activities, and then, write down 2-3 things that you were grateful for that day. This gives your whole family time to reflect and the opportunity to talk about your day with one another. To add in some creativity during this activity, you could also have your child draw a picture next to their journal entry that relates to what they wrote down.

Practice Yoga

Practicing yoga is one of our favorite ways to relax and unwind, and it’s something that your whole family can enjoy. Life is so fast-paced and can feel like a whirlwind at times. Practicing yoga can help you be more mindful and help you work on being still. If you’re new to yoga and need some help getting started, you can find some great family-friendly moves here.

Unplug During Meals

It’s easy to get caught up in technology throughout the day. Phones, laptops, tablets, computers – you name it! We are constantly using some form of technology whether it be for our jobs, school, or leisure. It’s important to unplug every once in a while, which is why you should consider making mealtime a no-technology zone. This way, everyone can sit around the table and engage in conversation with one another, and have a much-needed break from technology.

Happy Parent Appreciation Day! Follow us on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) all month long for more activities, resources, and tips. 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.

3 Fun Activities to do At Home With Your Kids This Summer
3 Fun Activities to do At Home With Your Kids This Summer 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

June 22nd marks PTN’s 11th anniversary, and we can’t wait any longer to get the celebration started! We are thankful for the opportunity to serve all of the wonderful families in our community over the last 11 years. We are looking forward to working with each of our incredible PTN kids, families, and therapists for years to come. All month long, we’ve been sharing some of our favorite at-home activities on our social media pages and wanted to keep the celebration going by sharing some more with you right now! Here are three fun activities to do at home with your kids this summer:

Animal Moves

Your kiddos are going to love this silly activity. Grab five pieces of paper and ask your child to draw a different animal on each one. Once they’ve drawn their masterpieces, go outside, and flip each paper upside down so that you can’t see them.

One at a time, flip each drawing over and then have your child perform the action that matches the animal on the page. For example, you could have them flap their arms like a chicken, hop like a frog, roll around like a pig, gallop like a horse, or move their trunk (arm) up and down like an elephant. Once you’ve gone through each animal, add more animals to your pile and repeat!

Hula Hoop Jump

Get up and get ready to move with this next activity. Grab five hula hoops of any size and bring them outside. Place each hula hoop on the ground right next to each other in a straight line or zigzag pattern. Next, using chalk, write one number in each hula hoop, starting at one and ending at five. Finally, have your child jump from hoop to hoop in numbered order or if your child doesn’t know their numbers quite yet, simply ask them to jump from hoop to hoop!

Cup Kick

Our final at-home activity that you can try with your kiddos is cup kick! Gather up some plastic cups and place a different colored sticker on each cup. Then, go outside and put the cups next to each other a foot apart with the different colored stickers facing your child. Give your little one a small ball that they can easily kick and get ready for the fun! One at a time, shout out the different colors of the stickers and have your child try to knock the cup over with that sticker on it by kicking the ball at that cup. Keep shouting out colors until all of the cups have been knocked down, and repeat!

Thanks for celebrating our 11th anniversary with us! We had so much fun sharing these ideas with you, and hope that they keep you busy all summer long. For more at-home activities you can do with your child, follow us on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest). We share activities, tips, resources, and so much more. If you have any questions about your child’s development, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. We are happy to help support your child and family in any way that we can, and remember, you’re always at home with PTN.

The Benefits of Physical Therapy: Improving Your Child’s Development in a Home Setting
The Benefits of Physical Therapy: Improving Your Child’s Development in a Home Setting 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

Physical therapy has been used for many years to help both adults and children with items such as treatment and rehab for chronic conditions, preventative care, injuries, and so much more. It has the power to change so many lives in a positive manner, and it can truly make a difference when it comes to helping your child improve strength, stability, and confidence in order to meet their motor milestones and engage with family and friends. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families whose children work with a physical therapist have had to make the transition from in-person therapy to teletherapy which is new for a lot of people. If you’re considering telehealth services but  are nervous that  your child isn’t going to get the most out of these therapy sessions there’s no need to worry! With a focus on parent education and coaching, our teletherapy sessions have been very successful and can be just as effective as in-person therapy.  Please contact us directly if you’d like to learn more!  

With that said, and seeing as October is National Physical Therapy Month, we wanted to share some of the benefits of physical therapy for your child (especially while working on their skills in a home setting), along with some fun physical therapy related activities that you can do with your kiddos:

What Are Some of the Benefits of Physical Therapy For Children?

Though there are many benefits of physical therapy for your child, here are some of the main benefits:

  • Strengthens muscles
  • Builds endurance
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Increases range of motion
  • Supports achievement of motor milestones and overall mobility skills 

How Can a Physical Therapist Help a Child Who is Demonstrating Developmental Delays?

A physical therapist will be able to assess your child’s physical development to determine if gross motor delays are present. They will explain what factors are contributing to these delays and work with you to come up with a plan to improve these areas. In addition to a detailed evaluation, this plan will include activities that you can incorporate into your child’s daily routine to help support their development.  

How Can Therapy in a Home Setting be Beneficial to Children? 

Children thrive in their skill development when they are in a place that they feel safe, happy, and comfortable. For most children, this place is usually their own house. They tend to be more focused, determined, and excited to improve their skills while at home because they are familiar with their surroundings, and they are around the people they love most – their family! It is also easier for caregivers to carry out home exercise activities when they are incorporated into their daily routines. 

What Are Some Fun Gross MotorActivities That I Can Do With My Child At Home?

  • Bean Bag Toss: This is an activity that your kiddos will love. Holding and then throwing the weighted bean bags will help to work on your child’s strength and coordination as they try to get their bean bag into the target hole. If you don’t already have a bean bag set, we suggest this set that’s made just for kids.
  • Fly Like Superman: This activity works on your child’s core strength and coordination and allows your child to use their imagination in the process. Have your child lay on their tummy and tell them to try and lift their arms and chest off of the ground so that they’re “flying like superman”. To make this activity even more fun, try it on a swing or give your child a cape and tell them that they’re flying to go save the world!
  • Painter’s Tape Balance Beam: Get some painter’s tape and create three “balance beams” on your floor. You can have one balance beam be in a straight line, one in a zig-zag line, and one in a circle shape. Have your child try to walk on each beam without falling off to the side to work on their balance and coordination.

If you’re looking for more ways to celebrate this month and spread the word about the benefits of physical therapy, the American Physical Therapy Association has great resources that you can check out, including graphics that you can use on your social media as your cover photo or profile picture.

Our Favorite At-Home Therapy Activities to Celebrate Our Tenth Anniversary!
Our Favorite At-Home Therapy Activities to Celebrate Our Tenth Anniversary! 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

June 22nd is a big day for PTN; it marks our tenth anniversary!  We don’t want to wait for a second longer to celebrate, especially with our team, children, and families who mean the world to us.  We are so grateful for all of the amazing families that we’ve had the honor to meet and work with over the course of these past ten years.  We’re also very thankful to have such an amazing team of therapists.

To kick off our anniversary month, we wanted to go ahead and share some of our favorite at-home activities with you. Whether your child is working on their gross motor, fine motor, sensory, or speech development – we’ve found fun ideas that your kids will love.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get this anniversary celebration started! 

At-Home Activities For Gross Motor Skills…

Indoor Dance Party
Dancing is a wonderful way to get out some energy while also getting to work on your child’s gross motor skills. Dancing works on coordination, balance, motor sequencing skills, and can help your child start to understand rhythm. An excellent way to get started is to come up with a short routine that your child can follow along to. Put together two or three simple moves that work on gross motor coordination such as raising and lowering their arms or rocking from side to side. Then, begin your indoor dance party!

Indoor Balance Beam
This is an activity that is really easy to set up, and will provide hours of entertainment for your kiddos! Start by making an indoor balance beam for your child using painter’s tape. You can make various balance beams such as a zigzagged balance beam, a straight line balance beam, etc. Once it’s all set up, challenge your child to try and walk on each beam from start to finish.

At-Home Activities For Fine Motor Skills…

Make a Pasta Necklace
Making a pasta necklace will work on your child’s fine motor skills while allowing them to express their creativity. All you’ll need for this activity is a box of penne pasta noodles and some string. Your child will work on their fine motor skills by having to grip the noodles to put them onto the string and will strengthen their hand muscles from threading and pulling. The best part of this activity? When they’re done, your child will have a cute necklace they can wear and be proud of!

Shaving Cream Hand Writing
For kiddos that are starting to learn their letters, shaving cream is a simple household item that will let your child practice writing out letters and words. To begin, write out some letters or words onto index cards, and place them next to a tray that is covered in shaving cream. To do this activity, have your child write out each letter/word from the index cards into the shaving cream one at a time using their finger. After each letter/word they write, show your child how to spread the shaving cream all over the tray, and have them move on to writing the next letter/word.

At-Home Activities For Speech Therapy…

Guess What I’m Drawing (Using Chalk)
Fortunately, this speech therapy activity can be done outside with only a couple of pieces of chalk. Sit outside with your child and switch off drawing an object with chalk. When your child is guessing what you’re drawing, have them ask you questions about the object such as, “is it an animal?” or “is it food?”. When it comes time for your child to draw an object, you’ll be able to ask them questions about what they’re drawing.

I Spy
The classic game, I Spy, is actually a fantastic way to work on your child’s speech therapy development. If you need a little brushing up on how to play (or haven’t heard of I Spy before), all you have to do to start is walk around your house or go walk outside with your child. Take turns picking out items around you, and give the other person a clue as to what you’re looking at.

For example, your child may be looking at a tree and could say, “I Spy something tall.” You’d then guess what they’re looking at, and finally, they’ll confirm if the item you guessed was indeed what they were looking at, or if they were looking at a different object than what you guessed. 

At-Home Activities For Sensory Development…

Bucket Full of Textures
For this sensory development activity, you’ll need to gather up small random objects around your house that are made up of varying colors and textures. For example, you could use an orange, a tv remote, a piece of fabric, etc. Take these items and place them inside of the bucket. One by one, have your child pull an object out of the bin and have them run their fingers over the texture of the object in order to get the sense of what it feels like. Then, you should ask them questions about each object, like, “is the object soft or hard?”. Repeat with each object until your bucket is empty!

DIY Sensory Bottle
Sensory bottles can help with your child’s sensory development and are very easy to make. To create your own sensory bottles at home, you’ll need three empty plastic bottles, rice, stones, beans, and tape. Fill each plastic bottle with a different material and tape the cap tightly onto the bottle. Allow your child to grab and play with each bottle one at a time. This way, they can experience the unique sounds and feeling that each bottle provides.

We hope that you found these activities to not only be useful, but easy to do with your little one.  Remember, you’re always at home with PTN!

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