getting ready for back to school

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.

Back to School for Special Needs
Speech, Occupational, and Physical Therapy Prep for Back-to-School
Speech, Occupational, and Physical Therapy Prep for Back-to-School 1000 1000 PTN Chicago

Back to school is upon us once again, and this can be both an exciting and stressful time of year for the children we work with – and their parents! Whether your little ones are looking forward to learning new things or feeling anxious about fitting in, there are several things that you can do to help them feel more prepared for the school year to come. Let’s take a look at several simple areas of focus within speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy that you can practice with your child leading up to that first day of school.

Speech Therapy Back to School Prep

Role Playing – If your child is nervous about meeting new children, you can help them feel more at ease by playing a simple role-playing game. Pretend to be another child that they’re meeting for the first time and have a conversation with them. Help your child think of appropriate ice-breakers and things they can talk about comfortably with new friends.

Curiosity Prep – Children have a tendency to ask questions that can come across as rude and hurtful when they are confronted with something they aren’t familiar with – like another child’s speech impediment. Before school begins, it can sometimes be helpful to gently warn your child that they might get questioned about the way that they speak by other children. Then you can work with your child to find simple answers to the questions they might be asked in order to help their new friends understand them better. (This is an area where a speech therapist can offer a lot of helpful advice!)

Occupational Therapy Back to School Prep

School-Specific OT Challenges – Going back to school – or going to school for the first time – can mean being confronted with new occupational challenges. For example, your child probably doesn’t open a lunch box very often at home. Work with your OT to think of the various occupational skills your child might find useful to practice before school begins.

Waiting Games – A lot of school is sitting quietly and waiting for your turn. If your child has trouble sitting still or gets easily distracted, it might be helpful to practice some mental games that can keep your child focused or occupy their mind while they wait in line. For example, your child can quietly try to find objects that are every color of the rainbow.

Physical Therapy Back to School Prep

Classroom Tour – If possible, try to arrange a tour of your child’s classroom before school begins with their new teacher. That way you can identify any areas that might be difficult for your child to maneuver or unsafe for your child for whatever reason. Having some advance warning will allow both your child and their teacher time to adjust. This is also a useful thing to do if your child has physical impairments.

Explore Outdoors – After your classroom tour, why not explore your school’s outdoor areas? You can walk through the halls of the school and then make your way outside. Let your child practice on the school playground or on the stairs leading up to the school entrance over the summer so they are familiar with these areas prior to school starting. It can be fun for them to see what’s waiting for them both inside and out.

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