Fun Summer OT Activities

  • Play tug-a –war ( use a rope or use a popsicle stick for finger-tug-a-war)
  • Draw on driveway using sidewalk chalk then spray clean using squirt bottle
  • Have a squirt gun battle
  • Roll down a hill
  • Have wheelbarrow or crab walk races
  • Blow bubble and try to pop or pinch them with your finger tips!
  • Go to the park and try out all the fun swings and climbing equipment
  • Make paper air planes
  • Fly a kite
  • Go to the beach and dig for shells in the sand
  • Build a sand castle
  • String a necklace using dried pasta or Cheerios
  • Go swimming!!
  • ‘Draw’ shapes and lines in wet sand
  • Wash the car using soapy water and sponges
  • Play hopscotch
  • Make a mosaic – snip paper strips into small squares and glue on a picture outline
  • Play a game of catch with water balloons!
  • Water the plants (try using  squirt bottle or garden hose)
  • Bake!!  Stirring cookie batter or rolling dough is a great way to work on hand strengthening
  • Paint a picture on an easel and then hang your picture to dry using clothespins
  • Pull a heavy wagon and take a walk to the park

 

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Helpful Follow-Up

Recently, speech and language expectations for children ages 2-5 were posted, according to the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA).  These are some of ASHA’s suggested activities to support those skills.

What can I do to help? (2-3 years old)

  • Use clear, simple speech that is easy to imitate.

  • Show your child that you are interested in what he or she says to you by repeating what he or she has said and expanding on it. For example, if your child says, “pretty flower,” you can respond by saying, “Yes, that is a pretty flower. The flower is bright red. It smells good too.

  • Expand on your child’s vocabulary. Introduce new vocabulary through reading books that have a simple sentence on each page.

  • Name objects and describe the picture on each page of the book. State synonyms for familiar words (e.g., mommy, woman, lady, grown-up, adult) and use this new vocabulary in sentences to help your child learn it in context.

  • Put objects into a bucket and have your child remove one object at a time, saying its name. You repeat what your child says and expand upon it: “That is a comb. Sam combs his hair.” Take the objects from the bucket and help your child group them into categories (e.g., clothes, food, drawing tools).

  • Look at family photos and name the people. Use simple phrases/sentences to describe what is happening in the pictures (e.g., “Sam swims in the pool”).

  • Write simple appropriate phrases under the pictures. For example, “I can swim,” or “Happy birthday to Daddy.” Your child will begin to understand that reading is oral language in print.

  • Ask your child questions that require a choice, rather than simply a “yes” or “no” answer.

  • Continue to sing songs, play finger games (“Where is Thumbkin?”), and tell nursery rhymes (“Hickory Dickory Dock”). These songs and games introduce your child to the rhythm and sounds of language.

  • Strengthen your child’s language comprehension skills by playing the yes-no game: “Are you a boy?” “Is that a zebra?” “Is your name Joey?”

What can I do to help? (for older children)

  • Talk about spatial relationships (first, middle, and last; right and left) and opposites (up and down, big and little).

  • Offer a description or clues and have your child identify what you are describing.

  • Work on forming and explaining categories (fruits, furniture, shapes) as well as items that don’t belong.

  • Follow your child’s directions as she or he explains how to do something.

  • Build on your child’ s vocabulary. Provide definitions for new words, and use them in context: “This vehicle is riding on the highway. It is a car. A bus is another kind of vehicle. So are a train and an airplane.”

  • Encourage your child to ask for an explanation if he or she does not understand what a word means.

  • Point out things that are the same or different. Play games incorporating these concepts that he or she will encounter later in the classroom in reading readiness.

  • Expand on social communication and narration skills (telling a story) by role-playing. Play house, doctor, and store using dialogue, props, and dress-up clothes. Do the same with a dollhouse and its props, acting out scenarios and making the dolls talk.

  • Read stories with easy-to-follow plots. Help your child predict what will happen next in the story. Act out the stories, and put on puppet shows of the stories. Have your child draw a picture of a scene from the story, or of a favorite part. You can do the same thing with videos and television shows, as these also have plots. Ask “wh” questions (who, what, when, where, or why) and monitor his or her response.

  • Expand on your child’ s comprehension and expressive language skills by playing “I Spy”: “I spy something round on the wall that you use to tell the time.” After your child guesses what you have described, have him or her give you clues about something that he or she sees.

  • Give your child two-step directions (e.g., “Get your coat from the closet and put it on”). Encourage your child to give directions to explain how he or she has done something. For example, ask your child to explain how he made a structure out of Lego blocks. When playing doctor, ask your child to explain what she did to give the baby a checkup. Draw a picture, and write down your child’s story as he or she tells it. Your child will soon grasp the power of storytelling and written language.

  • Play age-appropriate board games with your child (e.g., “Candyland” or “Chutes and Ladders”).