Occupational therapy for children with disabilities in Little Rock helps them improve motor skills, balance, and coordination. These daily activities give them confidence as well as an improved quality of life. Here are 10 FUN occupational therapy activities that every child will love!
What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy is a treatment program that helps improve basic life skills and helps reach functional goals. Every program is customized for the individual, so the occupational therapist recommends types of treatments and how often you meet for them.
Who can benefit from it?
Any person with impaired motor skills or challenges handling daily life skills can benefit from occupational therapy. It can help children improve at doing basic tasks, which in turn boosts their self confidence. It also improves fine and gross motor skills and motor planning, a life skill that helps them remember and repeat steps to make a movement happen.
Children with trouble processing sensory information can also benefit from therapy. This particular type of occupational therapy is called sensory integration therapy. Starting with an individualized approach to each child’s needs and goals, this therapy leads to improved skills and more positive reactions to sensations.
10 fun occupational therapy activities
Fun games and activities help teach your child valuable skills in therapy. Check out these 10 fun things you can do at home today!
1. Keep up the balloon
This classic game helps improve concentration, gross motor skills, and balance. Challenge your child to keep the balloon up and not let it touch the ground. You can also use more balloons to make it more challenging.
2. Balloon tennis
This game mimics a tennis game but with inflated balloons and inexpensive fly swatters, making for a fun, friendly competition.
3. Bean bag toss
For this, your child holds on to a bean bag, spins around one time, then tosses the bean bag towards the goal of the hula hoop. Variations can be made to this game by moving the hula hoop further away, or using different sized rings.
4. Clothing relay race
This is a fun approach to improving the skills your child needs to dress themselves. Place a laundry basket full of clean adult clothing on one side of the room. Then have your child race to the basket, then quickly put on one item of clothing and race back. Use a stopwatch to encourage a faster time.
Something as simple as playing with Play-Doh or modeling clay can really help improve fine motor skills. There are also many tools to keep it entertaining, such as different shape cut-outs and rolling pins. You can encourage your child to make something from scratch, or use the cut-outs to recreate certain objects.
6. Graffiti wall
For this, find a large space on a wall to cover with butcher paper. The creativity is unlimited! Markers, crayons, paints, stamps, and stickers can all be used to decorate the wall. You can also put the paper under a table, and let your child decorate it while lying on their back.
7. Mud pies
This involves letting a child get down and dirty to make a pretend pie made of mud decorated with rocks, stones, and sticks. A wash tub can help keep the mess to a minimum.
8. At the circus
Your child can reenact circus fun by pretending to be an acrobat or a tight-rope walker. As pretend acrobats, they can do somersaults, cartwheels, hand-stands, and splits. If there are multiple children present, they can take turns putting on their circus acrobatic acts.
This is also a great way to burn some energy and get some exercise. Tight-rope walking can be performed by placing a piece of yarn or string on the ground and having your child balance by walking across it. Increase the challenge with backward walking or even blind-folded tight-rope walking.
9 Cross the river
Pretending to cross a river by jumping from one “rock” to another is sure to be a hit with kids. Place secure objects on the floor, such as rubber mat squares or laminated paper squares. You can use masking tape to secure them to the ground, and this game can be done indoors or outdoors. Have your child jump from one rock to another, one by one, until they reach the other side of the river. Increase the challenge by moving the rocks further apart.
10. Tic-tac-toe with objects
A twist on the traditional game of tic-tac-toe involves using objects instead of drawing Xs and Os. This can be done outdoors on a sidewalk or driveway, and the game board can be drawn with sidewalk chalk. Large objects can be used and separated into two categories.
Some examples would be cars versus trucks or stuffed bears versus stuffed dogs. You can also scale the game down to size, and bring it indoors to the table using smaller objects to work on fine motor skills.
These fun activities are only part of a larger goal of making occupational therapy a life-changing experience for children in Little Rock. For more information, contact Integrity today at (501) 406-0442 to get started.