In light of our new found time at home with all of our children, I am certain there are plenty of care-givers searching for ways to encourage therapy time. My very first bit of advice is let’s work together to enjoy this time at home. Please do not pressure yourself into thinking you have to be your child’s OT, ST, or PT. Therapy best occurs in our natural routines of the day!! For example, opportunities for gaining independence in self help skills abound. Undressing/dressing from pajamas to play clothes, teeth brushing without being in a rush (try a spin toothbrush), and multiple chances to put shoes on/off in order to go outside and play. It’s a great time to introduce or practice utensil use for self feeding without the rush to get through it.
When you do have time for structured activities in conjunction with our new remote learning, here are a few OT foundations:
- If sitting, make certain your child’s feet are secure on the ground, knees and hips at 90 degrees, back upright.
- No slouching or leaning on table top for support
- Often it is helpful to use a slant board or 21/2-3 inch binder for support
- Allow your child to perform writing tasks on her stomach supporting him/herself with his elbows
- Completing written assignments on a vertical surface such as mirror, or tape worksheets to the wall.
For our sensory seeking friends at home: provide bits of sensory organizing information throughout your day:
- Joint compressions to arms, legs, hands, and ankles
- Deep pressure lotion massage to extremities
- Home made obstacle course that might include jumping on pillows, rolling across blanket, wheelbarrow walk x 5 feet, 3 jumping jacks, and finish with a commando crawl to pop the bubbles.
- Push heavy toys in a laundry basket across different textured floors
- Allow child to assist in making homemade play-doh/goop/slime by squeezing and needing the ingredients
- Maybe just a play bath with crayola bath time crayons/foam
- Go outside and swing! Stop and start multiple times