Please welcome Amanda Ghiloni to the EazyHold blog. She is a Pediatric COTA/L and wrote this amazing Summertime activities list for us. Make sure to visit her on Instagram @barefoot_ot
Thank you Amanda!

Summertime Activities from an Occupational Therapist

Summer is a great time to get kids outside allowing them to learn, move, develop, explore and play. Not only are these activities fun but they are also beneficial. Below are my top favorite activities to do during the summertime, not only with my own children but my clients as well.

  1. Water Play- Such a fun way to get kids involved, water play promotes bilateral coordination, fine motor coordination, and sensory input. Way to incorporate water play into your child’s day is by running through a sprinkler, splashing or swimming in a pool, scooping and pouring water at a water table, using water pistols, water balloons, or squirt bottles to squirt one another or objects.
  2. Sand Box- Another fun activity to do during the summer. Sand play promotes bilateral coordination and fine motor coordination skills. Sand play allows for children to explore for hidden treasures, scoop and pour sand into molds to create buildings or castles. Sand is also a big sensory activity that allows children to explore textures. It is versatile too, having children play with dry sand and then after a rain shower with the wet sand provides two different textures to explore and the brain to process.
  3. Jungle Gyms and Parks- Running, playing, climbing all promote gross motor coordination, bilateral coordination, and motor planning. Jungle gyms allow for children to build muscles without weight lifting or “working out.” Climbing ladders, going down slides, maneuvering through bridges and climbing walls are so much fun. Jungle Gyms can also address gravitational insecurities and promote visual processing for children as well as pretend play. Sailing the high seas, looking for pirates, hiding from bad guys all give children a sense of imagination allowing them to be creative which in turn can build their creative writing skills for school.
  4. Swinging- One of the best pieces of sensory equipment there is. Have your child explore different kinds of swings at local parks. These can range from typical children swings to tire swings, all which promote vestibular sensory input. A child swinging themselves also promotes proprioceptive sensory input and motor planning skills which can have a positive effect on a child’s self-regulation.
  5. Bubbles- Such a great way to promote oral motor skills and visual processing. This is a great activity for any age and are easy to have on hand. I always keep a container of bubbles in my car during the summer in case we decide to go to a park or my children get bored in traffic.
  6. Chalk- Promoting fine motor coordination and sensory input, chalk is a great tool for children to use. When working outside, large chalk pieces can be used to promote large muscle movements. Small pieces of chalk can be used to promote handwriting skills. Chalk provides amazing feedback to the brain when writing letters or drawing shapes. It helps solidify the motor plan for letter and shape forms faster than markers any day.