If there’s one thing that is for certain, it’s that occupational therapists love to see carryover. We love to encourage functioning and independence with personal goals across environments. It’s through occupational therapy home programs that we encourage families, parents, and teachers to get involved with a child’s goals so they can accomplish skills at home, in the classroom, and community.
I wanted to put together some activities that OTs can add to home programs that build skills. Use these as part of OT recommendations in occupational therapy teletherapy sessions, or in home programming as a result of changes in our current public health situations. Whatever your situation is, here are some activity recommendations that promote movement, learning through play, and help to keep the kids off screens.
Occupational therapy home programs for movement
So…many of us are dealing with the uncertainties of coronavirus and the possibility to be sent home from wor. School based OTs who are contracted into a school district may even be out of work if and when school students are sent home to learn from home. They may see the need to send home activity plans with children who will be stuck indoors. Other therapists are working within the available technology systems that are in place and can work with children remotely or via teletherapy. In each of these cases, there is a need for therapist-recommended activities that require items that are probably in the homes of most parents.
Use these activities to encourage play and movement. Encourage playing together as families. These activities have therapeutic benefits, but they are also great for family time, too.
Home Occupational therapy suggestions
These monthly movement activities use a lot of items found around the home.
Here are fine motor and coordination activities using a simple deck of playing cards.
Here are movement, dexterity, and strengthening activities using craft pom poms (or cotton balls work really well, too.)
Here are activities with paper clips to encourage coordination, visual motor skills, perception, and dexterity.
Here are sensory diet activities for the backyard.
Here are 31 ways to learn through movement and play. These strategies are perfect for learning at home or homeschooling.
Playdough is a powerful tool that can be added to home therapy programs! Here is a giant list of activities using play dough.
To encourage gross motor movement, core strengthening, and heavy work for sensory needs, try these indoor recess activities. They work at home, too!
Looking for home programming and OT home activities? These resources are full of ideas:
Executive Functioning Activities
“Push In” Therapy at Home– Combine OT interventions with learning at home using these movement-based, goal oriented activities that can be incorporated into learning, math, reading, etc.
OT at Home…Play Games!
A lot of times, families have board games in the home that they haven’t played with in a while. Family time games like the ones in the posts below can build essential skills that might be addressed in therapy, too. Use time spent at home to play games and work on therapy goals at the same time. Here are some game suggestions:
These Games to Improve strategy and planning are fun to play and better for the brain!
Here are more games to improve executive functioning skills.
Games that improve pencil grasp build fine motor skills, but don’t seem like “work”. Do you have any of these fine motor games in your game closet?
Visual Tracking Games are fun ways to work on an essential visual processing skill…visual tracking! This skill is needed for visual attention, reading, writing, and so much more.
Raid the game closet and use some items you have around the house to Build Math Skills with Games.
In fact, there is a lot of learning that happens with board games. Here is how you can learn with games you already own.
These are games and toys that build skills in reluctant writers.
Build wrist stability for improved precision and strength in the hands with these games and toys to improve wrist stability.
Looking for more ways to keep the kids busy at home while working on developing skills? Run a search through the search bar above!