national play therapy week

Celebrating Play Therapy Week With Some of Our Favorite Play Therapy Activities
Celebrating Play Therapy Week With Some of Our Favorite Play Therapy Activities 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

This year, Play Therapy Week is February 6th through February 12th, and we are ready to get the party started! Playing is an excellent way for your little ones to work on their therapy goals while also having a ton of fun in the process. There are so many unique activities and games that you can try at home that will help your children work on various skills, and learning through play also gives you the chance to spend quality time as a family. Ready to have some fun? From playing balloon volleyball to stuffed animal storytime, here are some of our favorite play activities your whole family is sure to enjoy:

Play Balloon Volleyball: Place two chairs 3 feet apart and tie a sheet to both chairs to make a “volleyball net.” Next, blow up a balloon and get ready to play volleyball! Hit the balloon high up into the air to your little one and ask them to use their balance and coordination to try and hit the balloon back. You can either keep score or simply play for fun! Another great thing about this activity is that you can get the whole family involved and play in teams of two or three!

Get Creative With Play-Doh: Get ready to shape, mold, stretch, and roll Play-Doh into some fun objects and shapes. Take turns picking an object to sculpt with your little one, and then do your best to make that item. This activity will give your child the chance to work on their fine motor skills while expressing their creativity in the process.

Stuffed Animal Storytime: Ask your child to grab one of their favorite toys and come up with a story about that toy together. To get the story started, you could ask your child questions such as what the toy’s name is, where the toy lives, what the toy likes to do, etc. Then, if you and your child are feeling up to it, write the story down in a cute book and have them draw the pictures! 

Make Stepping Stones: Gather up some throw pillows around your house, bring them into the living room, and tell your child that you’re going on an adventure! Place the pillows randomly from one end of the living room to the other, but make sure that they’re close enough so that your little one can step from one pillow to the other. Now, ask your child to carefully step from stone to stone without touching the lava (the floor). If they can successfully make it across, move them a little farther apart, and have them try again!

Be sure to keep an eye on our social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest) all month long as we continue to share more fun activities. We’ll also be sharing helpful 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 both you and your child in any way that we can.

Family Fun Activities to Try During National Play Therapy Week
Family Fun Activities to Try During National Play Therapy Week 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

National Play Therapy Week runs February 7th through the 13th and we are super excited to celebrate it! Learning through play is one of the most fun and effective ways to help your child work on their development, which is why we always incorporate play into our pediatric therapy sessions. When your child learns through play, they will be motivated to work toward their goals while also engaging in activities that will bring them joy and better their overall mental and physical well-being. 

If you’re looking for some ways to celebrate with your kiddos this week but aren’t sure where to begin, don’t fret.  We’ve put together a list of fun, family activities that you can try during National Play Therapy Week and beyond – enjoy!

Astronaut Scavenger Hunt: Put on your spacesuit and get ready to blast off! It’s time to save the universe in this outer space-themed scavenger hunt. Get together with your family and do your best to draw all of the planets, each on a separate piece of paper. Once you’ve finished, have your little ones go to their bedroom and shut the door – no peeking.

Hide each planet in different spots around the house where your child may have to crouch, squat, or go on their tippy toes to find. Now, explain to your kiddos that it’s their job to save the universe by finding and collecting each planet. They’re our only hope!

Pretend Bake Sale: Have your child round up all of their favorite dolls, action figures, or stuffed animals, and tell them that their toys will act as the customers for your pretend bake sale. Use fake money and divide it up between each one of your child’s toys so that they can use it to purchase some of the delicious goods that you’re about to bake. Then, decide on one or two items that you want to make, and get baking! Let your kiddos help add the ingredients, stir the batter, and decorate. Your child will love being able to “sell” their completed products to their pretend customers The best part? You get to eat all of the leftovers!

Create Rock Friends: Gather up your art supplies and create some colorful rock friends! This is the perfect play therapy activity to get those creative juices flowing. To begin, bundle up, go outside, and find some flat rocks that you can paint on. Then, wash any dirt off of the rocks, dry them, and get painting! You could make a ladybug, bumblebee, turtle, or simply glue some googly eyes onto the rock and paint a smiley face – the possibilities are endless!

Happy National Play Therapy Week! 

If you’re looking for some ways to spread the word about the positive effects of play therapy, the Association for Play Therapy has some incredible resources including images that you can share with your friends and family on social media. As always, if you think that your child could benefit from pediatric therapy, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Classic Games Worth Bringing Back for Play Therapy Week
Classic Games Worth Bringing Back for Play Therapy Week 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

This week (February 2-8) is National Play Therapy Week, and we are so excited to celebrate! Play is at the heart of everything we do here at PTN, and we are firm believers that children feel more loved, more heard, and more receptive when they engage in play – that’s exactly why play therapy is so effective. It’s safe to say that we all learn faster, feel more at ease, and simply have a better time when we get the opportunity to learn through play.

If you’re looking for ways to celebrate this week and spread the word about the benefits of play therapy, the Association for Play Therapy has helpful resources that you can check out, including images that you can use to replace your cover photo or profile picture on social media this week.

Of course, the best way to celebrate this week is to actually enjoy some play therapy time with your child. Here are some of our favorite ways to work on occupational, physical, and speech therapy skills through at-home play.

Occupational Play Therapy

If you’re looking for ways to supplement your child’s occupational therapy between visits with their OT, one of the most simple and effective ways is through classic games. Depending upon your child’s age, you could play Jenga, Operation (with or without the batteries), Connect Four, or any number of other classic table games that are easy to learn and fun to play as a family. If your child is on the younger side, don’t worry about the rules. Just have fun building towers or creating colorful Connect Four patterns. Get a few travel-sized games that you can take with you in the car wherever you go.

Physical Play Therapy

All sorts of physical therapy goals can be practiced with classic games like Simon Says and Red Light, Green Light. The key to making these games fun and keeping them fresh is embracing your own creativity as well as the creativity of your child! If your little one tells you, “You’re a puppy,” that’s a great invitation to engage in their world. Give your child your best bark, then tell him that he’s a kangaroo and must bounce everywhere, or make her a sunflower and have her stretch her petals/arms up to the sun! Whatever skill your child needs help with, playing pretend is a great way to get them practicing without them even realizing it.

Speech Play Therapy

Songs and word games that you probably played as a child are still perfect for helping your child practice different sounds and to help build their vocabulary. I Spy is a wonderful game that can be played anywhere (it’s especially great anytime you’re stuck waiting in line). With younger kids, you can pick a color and have them point out all the things they see that are that color. With older kids, you can move past colors and use a wider range of words to describe the specific item they need to look for.

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