Spring is here, and so is April, which means it is Occupational Therapy Awareness Month! We love our occupational therapists here at PediaPlex and so appreciate them for all their hard work! They teach children so many different skills that will use for the rest of their lives! Things like writing their name, brushing their teeth, tying their shoes, and so much more! We love to have fun in OT so we’ve pulled together some spring occupational therapy activities that you can have fun doing with your kiddos!
With it being spring there are so many fun occupational therapy themed activities to do! Our kiddos love when they get the chance to go outside, so we thought it would be a great idea to share occupational therapy activities that you can easily do with the kids both inside and outside!
–Flower Crafts: Use tissue paper to make flowers! This is a great way to work on your child’s fine motor skills! Take the tissue paper and crumble it up to look like petals. You can use fun colors like pink, red, and purple and then roll up the tissue paper to form the stem. To keep in place, just add some glue to the back and paste it to a colorful piece of paper!
–Flower Fun: Take your kiddos outside and let them have fun picking out a few flowers! Encourage them to really dig them out of the dirt, pick a few different colored ones, fun shaped ones, and an overall favorite! Once they’ve collected a good amount have them describe the flowers to you: color, scent, shape, texture, etc. Next, have them pluck off the leaves and dissect the flower (let them keep their favorite one intact!). This will give them new pieces of the flower to touch, feel, and describe! You can also have fun making pictures with your flower petals and creating fun new shapes and designs!
–Sensory Bins: We always love fun sensory bins! Grab a plastic tub and head outside for this one. Let your child fill the bin with either dirt or sand and then go on a scavenger hunt to find things to fill it with it! Rocks, flowers, and acorns would all make for great additions to this outdoor sensory bin!
–Spring Time Simon Says: Kids always love the game Simon Says! Plus, it’s a great way to work on balance, coordination, and following directions. Make the directions fun like “hop like a bunny” or “crawl like a worm.”
Occupational therapy can work with children who have autism, ADD/ADHD, Down syndrome, sensory processing disorder, handwriting difficulties, feeding disorders, and visual processing disorders. Many of these conditions can make daily tasks such as brushing their teeth, getting dressed, tying their shoes, and writing their name difficult. Your child’s therapist can help break down these complex tasks into smaller parts so that they can eventually link the tasks back together. For example, when learning to write a child’s name we might start with individual parts of the letters first before working on the entire name!
In pediatric occupational therapy we work with children to help them become more independent and self-sufficient. To do so we will work with them to help improve their cognitive, physical, and motor skills. The skills we work on can teach the child do things on their own and give them more confidence in their new strengthened abilities. Occupational therapy can help children with:
-Feeding. OTs work with picky eaters with a limited diet and texture aversions plus skills for how to grasp a feeding utensil.
-Fine motor skills such as writing, holding small objects, buttoning clothes, etc.
-Gross motor skills such as running, crawling, and swimming.
-Handwriting skills that includes properly forming letters/numbers, grasping a pencil, and copying letters.
-Sensory integration, which is how we respond to what we see, hear, smell, taste and touch.
PediaPlex offers pediatric occupational therapy services in Southlake, Fort Worth, and Frisco, Texas. In occupational therapy we can help with handwriting, sensory integration, fine motor skills, visual motor skills, and a lot more! We will first start with an occupational therapy evaluation to determine your child’s needs and then we will create plan of care for your child. From there we will schedule reoccurring sessions for your child one to two times a week, depending on their needs. At PediaPlex we also offer ABA therapy and speech therapy so if your child needs additional services, they can get them all in one convenient location!
If your child is struggling with their handwriting or any of the other skills we mentioned, visit our website today to fill out an intake form! We look forward to helping your kiddo!
-The PediaPlex Family