I Have a Little Pumpkin (an interactive rhyme!)

Whether you make your own pumpkin fidget or use a mini pumpkin from your local pumpkin patch, you and  your kids will have a blast with this cute, interactive FREEBIE! Not only is it a fun way to play with the holiday theme, but it taps into motor planning, coordination, following verbal instruction, self-regulation and balance too!

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Click on the image to download your FREE copy!

Looking for more like this? Have some pumpkin fun with our entire Pumpkin Fidget Activity Pack! More rhymes, more games, and a printable, ready-to-illustrate book that goes along with the I Have a Little Pumpkin rhyme freebie you just downloaded! (You better get on that!)




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It’s almost Halloween!

Grab your Pumpkin Fidget Activity Pack TODAY!

Fine Motor Skill Necessities Developed at the Park

This is one time of year that our phones are ringing a little more than usual. Summer is over and the kiddos are settling in at school. It’s parent conference time, which tends to expose concerns that often result in OT referrals. Challenges with fine motor skills are routinely pointed out in these conferences. Observable areas of handwriting, cutting and coloring are present throughout the school day, making it easy to notice who is struggling and who isn’t.

The truth is, fine motor skills develop as the result of a number of different sensations and skills working together. Step one is to identify which pieces are lagging behind. Step two is creating activities to strengthen and develop these weaker areas. Step three is watching fine motor skills improve! Here’s how to get past some little fine motor bumps in the road that your child might be experiencing.

The Basics

Fine motor skills are built on a platform of:

  • Good trunk control: the body core (aka stomach, back and sides) has to be the steady base for the arms and hands to coordinate controlled actions.

Try this: Sit up tall and raise your arms up toward the sky. Notice how this feels. Now slouch down in your chair, relaxing your trunk and try raising your arms up again. Feel a difference?

  • Good feedback from skin, muscle and joints: allows for fine tuning motor actions and making precise adjustments.

Here’s another experiment: Try holding a pencil with gloves on. Without the ability to ‘feel’ your pencil, it’s harder to hold and control!

  • Strength in the arms and hands
  • Good coordination between eyes and hands (visual motor coordination): essential for skilled fine motor tasks like using scissors or writing your name on a line.

The Support

How do we support these skills? We play at the park!

Rarely do people think that there is a connection between park play and developing fine motor skills. The mindset of many is that strengthening fine motor skills means sitting at a table with a pencil and paper. We urge you to begin thinking outside of the box, and even more specifically, thinking outdoors! There are so many opportunities for building skills needed for school outside, and the best part is the kids have a blast while we disguise this practice as FUN!

Focusing on activities that build strong trunk muscles, balance, visual motor skills, hand and arm strength, tactile discrimination, and the ability to use just the right amount of pressure are primary essentials. Here are a few ideas of ways to work on these areas at the park:

  • Building a strong core: swings, slide, climbing – you can’t go wrong with any of these!
  • Balance: walk along a curb, climb on rocks or traverse across a wiggly bridge
  • Tactile discrimination: play with different textures like sand, dirt, mud, sticks and grass, find an object hidden in the sand with eyes closed
  • Controlling hand pressure: play with sand toys and buckets, learn how much force is needed to dig and how to precisely place a shovel of sand in a bucket or have a twig stand on end in the sand

For more specific fine motor skill ideas, check out our post and cute videos of our park play kiddos working on fine motor skills HERE.

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During school activities, it is important to make sure that your child is positioned in a way that creates a strong, stable base for fine motor coordination. When sitting at a table, make sure the child is sitting well supported in the chair with both feet flat on the floor. The child’s hips and knees should be at 90-degree angles, trunk and head upright, and non-dominant hand stabilizing the paper. If you find that your child’s feet are unable to touch the ground, place a box, step stool or other appropriately sized and sturdy object under your child’s feet to achieve these angles.The child’s dominant wrist should be at about a 30-degree extended angle when writing, rather than flexed or hooked inward.

Helpful Tools and Strategies

(Heads up! We have included some affiliate links ahead to share some of our tried and true therapy supports and tools! By purchasing through these links, we get a tiny (but hugely appreciated) proceed that keeps our website up and running! Thank you!)

While your child is developing the foundation skills for fine motor control, we can recommend these helpful tools to make school activities easier. If your child is currently seeing an occupational therapist, it will be beneficial to consult with him/her to identify individualized supports based on your child’s unique needs. Here are some general tools and strategies that can help:

  • Pencil grips – There are a variety of pencil grips that help position fingers for optimal muscle control and endurance, resulting in more skilled movements. Below are a few of the more popular styles and brands, kid tested and therapist approved!

                       

  • Slant board – Slant boards assist in the ideal positioning of the wrist for increased ease of finger movements.

Try this: pinch your index and thumb together. With your wrist slightly extended, bring your ‘pinch’ forward and back ward, in a thread the needle sort of motion. Notice how this feels and the ease of movement. Now try this same motion, but with your wrist flexed inward. Notice a difference? Think about working on a skilled fine motor activity in each position. Which would be easier and require less effort?

  • Vibrating pens – Vibration can be a great way to increase sensation in the hand! Increasing awareness leads to better control.

  • The Fine Motor Olympics by Marcia P. Bridgeman, OTR/L – A great collection of super fun activities for developing coordination in the hand and fingers.

    • Wedge cushion – for a child who tends to slouch or struggles to sit up straight, a wedge cushion can help while working to improve core stability. The tilts the pelvis to promote a more upright posture. Notice how difficult it is to maintain visual attention to an activity while in a slouched position! Even harder is trying to copy from the board or watch the teacher demonstrate instructions!

  • Change body positions during fine motor activities – Tape paper to the wall or write on a vertical surface to naturally adjust wrist position. This also changes the visual field that the child is working in. Try having the child lay on his tummy, propping upper body on forearms. This visually directs the child to the activity while working on developing shoulder stability,  leading to improvements in refined fine motor control!

If a child’s platform for fine motor skills is not in place yet, drilling the child with pencil and paper is going to be a slow, frustrating process for both the child and the parent! It’s more fun and effective to play at the park and develop those foundation skills first! If the child is struggling with fine motor activities in school, focus on areas of core strength, balance, visual motor skills, hand and arm strength, tactile discrimination, and the ability to grade force to build successes and feelings of confidence! Your local occupational therapist is also a great resource to identify specific challenge areas and provide an individualized treatment plan based on your child’s needs.

DIY Pumpkin Fidget

Fall is in the air! Pinterest pins dropping everywhere! This is such an fun time of year for DIY inspiration with holiday themes. As OT’s, we LOVE crafts for their hidden therapeutic benefits. Simple and sweet, our pumpkin fidget incorporates fine motor and visual motor skill development, planning and sequencing of steps, and a fidget to feel and fiddle with to support focus and attention!

What you will need:

12″x12″ piece of orange fabric

Pieces of green string or yarn

1/2 c. of fulling (we recommend rice or pinto beans)

a Dixie cup or other small cup

beads, rubber bands, curling ribbon (optional)

Here’s what to do:

1. Before you begin, decide if you want to draw a cute pumpkin face on your pumpkin. If you do, now’s the time! About 1/3 down from the TOP of the fabric, create your pumpkin face using fabric markers or a Sharpie. *Make sure you are drawing closer to the TOP edge rather than the bottom edge. Drawing near the bottom will make your pumpkin appear upside down when assembled!

2. Flip your fabric over so that the vividly colored side is facing down.

3. Centered over the cup, tuck the fabric into the cup leaving fabric equally hanging over the cup sides.

4. Pour filling contents into the cup. If you are using the Dixie cup, you can fill it to the top. This will be just about 1/2 c. of rice/beans.

5. Gather the fabric together over the filling contents and tie tightly with your green string or yarn.

6. Remove your pumpkin from the cup and trim the ‘stem’ (extra fabric) of your pumpkin to your desired length.

Adding a short string of beads, a curly ribbon or even attaching a rubber band can be helpful added fidgets to little hands that need to feel, pull or wiggle in order to increase focus and attention!

As our clients created their own little pumpkins, each one different than the next, we realized we  weren’t ready to stop there! We ended up creating an entire Pumpkin Fidget Activity Pack filled with interactive and yoga pose inspired rhymes, games and a little book for kiddos and their pumpkins to do together! pumpkin-fidget-activity-pack-cover

To download a FREE page from this pack, click here!

Oh, and one more thing! Don’t forget to take your pumpkin fidget to the park! Here’s 5 ideas to get you started with some holiday pumpkin park play!

  1. (start with the pumpkin at the top of the slide) Have your child climb up the slide to pick a  pumpkin and slide back down to make a pumpkin pie in the sandbox below!
  2. Use it as a marker for a game of hop scotch.
  3. Find a twig to draw a spider in the sand. While swinging on his belly or balancing on a tree stump, have your child toss his pumpkin to try to squash the spider!
  4. Balance the pumpkin on one of the holds of a climbing wall or ladder rung. Can your child climb up and round the pumpkin without knocking it down?
  5. Place the pumpkin fidget on a balance beam or curb. Have your child walk the length of the beam, pick up the pumpkin (while balancing) and proceed to the end.

Happy Halloween!

Passport to the Park Kit

Getting quality time outdoors can do wonders. Fresh air, sunshine, ‘unplugged’ fun, and active exploration can have dramatic effects on the quality of your mood and how your body functions!

OT’s around the globe LOVE hearing about their clients adventures outside. Sensory experiences are everywhere and something new is around every bend. This allows our children to navigate, adapt, try and do which promotes learning and development unlike desk work can.

We are always thinking of functional, cost efficient, and therapeutically effective strategies to support our clients as they learn new motor skills and strategize through their individual complexities.  The local park becomes a natural backdrop for optimizing development and following through with any occupational therapy that your child might be receiving.

That being said, we have a little secret (although the cat’s out of the bag now, right?). Whatever equipment your local park might have, there are a couple of small little gems that we pack and bring with us every time that we work with a child at the park. Bring one, bring them all – they pack a big punch with lots of versatility to work on a variety of skills.

Here’s our kit!

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(Quick little FYI that there are affiliate links sprinkled throughout this post! Any purchases that you make help keep our blog up and running. Thank you!)

 

Bean Bags – We love these wipe clean versions because you never know where these little guys might end up. Sensory play can often mean getting ‘down and dirty’ but your beanbags don’t need to stay that way!

 

Gertie Balls – These inflatables have a unique texture that allows for increased sensory awareness when throwing and catching. Check out the nobby and glow-in-the-dark versions too!

passport-to-the-park copySuggested activity: Have your child hold the ball while sliding down the slide. Once he reaches the bottom, have him toss the ball to you or into a target tub! To increase the challenge, try to toss it mid-slide!

 

Bubbles – Fun for all ages, bubbles can provide wonderful visual, tactile, coordination and imaginative experiences. Catching bubbles is a great way to work on eye-hand coordination! True story: We tested many bubble brands. Once, we even had to pour all of the bubbles out just to get the wand out of the container! For this reason, we recommend these because the wand attaches directly to the lid! Genius!

 

 

Sidewalk Chalk – Ask any occupational therapist about the benefits of chalk and they will go on and on! Let your creativity go wild almost anywhere at the park and no need to worry about those marker doodles that just won’t come off!

 

Squirt bottle – A squirt bottle filled with water can go a long way! Did you know using a squirt bottle can strengthen the hands/fingers to prepare for handwriting and cutting skills?

passport-to-the-park copySuggested activity: Fill a bottle with water to water plants or play water tag with friends on a hot day! Try having your child draw with chalk and ‘erase’ it with squirts of water.

 

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Balloon pump – Pumping up balloons using a hand pump is a fantastic bilateral coordination task, strength builder and increases body awareness! If you don’t have one of these, use your bicycle tire pump in the garage!

passport-to-the-park copySuggested activity – If he can, have your child help stretch the balloon onto the balloon pump. Here’s the fun part. Have him pump air into the balloon using both hands and watch it expand! Once it is inflated, let it go! Watch and listen as it flies through the sky, then run to retrieve it and try again! Prepare for lots of giggles!

A suspended ball – For those of you with DIY skills, suspending a ball on a rope can be a fantastic prop for building eye-hand coordination. A whiffle ball and 5 feet of light rope will do the trick!

passport-to-the-park copySuggested activity: Suspend the ball from an overhead bar (such as monkey bars). Using a hand or piece of pool noodle, sway at the ball for instant practice with eye-hand coordination and visual tracking.

 

Rope with handles – A jump rope or a 16-foot long rope with a knot in each end can be the MacGuiver tool you have been waiting for. (Did we totally date ourselves with this reference?) If your child needs more to grab hold of, loop the rope before making the knot or string a 6-inch piece of PVC pipe in the loop before knotting it off.

passport-to-the-park copySuggested activity: Scope out a smooth sidewalk, path or basketball court. Have your child lie belly-down on the scooter board. While holding onto a rope, pull them along the path while varying speed and direction. Play a ‘delivery’ game by having your child pick up an object along the route, place it on his back and deliver it to a new destination! If laying on the stomach appears too difficult, and as a result your child’s head is resting on his arm rather than looking up and forward, have him shift positions to sitting and scooting with his feet, or sitting cross legged while being pulled by the rope.

Scooter board – Seated, kneeling, or laying on their stomach, children have endless fun playing with these gems! Scooter boards are great tools to support balance, strength and endurance, and bilateral coordination skills.

passport-to-the-park copyPediatric therapists and bloggers alike find scooter boards to be staple tools when working with children on various developmental skills.

Therapy Fun Zone has 10 activities to do on a scooter board. Playapy highlights 5 exercises that can be done on scooter boards in this YouTube video. How scooter boards are used for strengthening certain muscles can be found on Pink Oatmeal’s Scooter Board Strengthening post! All are great resources to check out.

Pool Noodle – Cut this noodle into thirds and you have 3 great tools to use at the park! Pack one in your kit and use it as a bat, funnel, or handle for pulling! Grab these at a nearby Target, Dollar Store, or hardware store. If you are interested in buying 5 of them, Amazon is the place to go! (Pool noodles may be harder to find in cooler months, so this link may be helpful if you can’t get your hands on one locally.  Share the extras with your friends!

 

Sturdy, lightweight tub – This carryall doubles as a target and makes transporting essentials back and forth a breeze. We found that a 7-gallon size (26 liter) can hold everything we need. You can also carry it one-handed so the other can be free to walk the kids across the street or grip that much needed cup of coffee!

 

Mesh bag – Throwing all of your kit props into a mesh bag truly makes clean up from the sandbox a thing of the past. Drop stuff in, shake a couple of times, and plop the whole bag into the tub for a quick and convenient way to keep all everything in check. Most drug stores and discount stores carry these no-frills laundry bags.

You’ve got this in the bag, literally!

If you follow Passport to the Park, you will notice we use these items ALL THE TIME and have ideas for the contents of our Park Kit in every post! The local park or playground provides a foundation for learning and development.  These little goodies can dramatically expand the therapeutic value that parks can provide.

Purchase a Park Kit

How do you use these items when playing outside? There are never too many great ideas!

Any pediatric OT’s out there in search of more inspiration and ways to get organized? Browse around at OT Potential to check out the form, letter, and evaluation templates she has available.

Want to make a Park Kit of your own? Here’s what you need! 

 

Summer Olympic Games

A time when the world unites in energy, efforts and friendly competition, the Olympic Games seem to be a two-week period when everyone ‘speaks the same language’. Replays of an exciting race, a courageous finish, the athlete to watch and the tally of gold medals are conversations echoed between people and countries. That doesn’t happen very often, if you think about it! They inspire, thrill, motivate, engage, and excite us all!

The Olympic Games is a super appealing theme that kids will jump at the chance to participate in! The inspirational stories of athletes who have overcome challenges in life epitomize the “can do attitude” and perseverance that helps our children grow.

Those who follow us know that we are all about play at the local park or playground. It’s fun, therapeutic, outdoor adventure and naturally provides a wide variety of opportunities that promote optimal development! We planned each game below around the contents of our park kit and common park/playground equipment. Bringing one thing, three things, or nothing, and there’s still fun to be had! What’s in the kit? Click here for details!

Passport to the Park Kit

(Quick mention: We do have affiliate links within our posts, and earnings from them help us keep our little blog running! Thank you in advance for your support!)

So, without further adieu, we bring you SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES AT THE PARK!

Looking to plan your Olympic Games with your child? Download our Olympic Games Activity Sheets HERE to plan your games and color/cut/wear the winning medal once the games are completed!

Ok! On your mark, get set, go!

Personal Best – Whether you have a group of kids, or an individual child, sometimes competitive sports can be provoke feelings of inadequacy, charged emotions, and hurt feelings. Acknowledging a child’s feelings of disappointment, worry or frustration is important. Make sure to voice that you hear or see that these feelings are big for your child. If competition is just too much, try any of these games using a ‘personal best’ tone that everyone can enjoy!

Any of these games can be for one or more people, so decide what works best for all involved!

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Grab our Sumer Olympic Games printables here to keep track!

 

Balloon Volleyball – Using a bicycle pump, hand pump, or some great big breaths, inflate a balloon and tie. How many times can you hit it to keep it from touching the ground? To increase the challenge, draw a line in the sand and play with 2 or more people, more closely mimicking a real volleyball game. Ready to mix things up? Try to use only one body part to hit the balloon. (i.e. elbow, foot, head)

What you need: balloon pump, balloons

Skills developed: visual tracking, visual-motor coordination, upper body strength, motor planning

Fencing A pool noodle cut in half creates 2 safe fencing foils (that’s the sword) ready for the match! In the actual sport of fencing, contact with the opponent’s torso counts as a point. Arms, legs, and head do not count. Add a balance element by having the participants stand on a low balance beam or curb!

What you need: pool noodles

Skills developed: visual-motor coordination, hand strength, balance

Crab Soccer– While in a crab walk position, kick the ball towards a designated goal to earn a point! Playing solo? Have your ‘crab’ dribble the ball down the field to score!crab soccer

What you need: Gertie Ball

Skills developed: strength, motor planning, coordination

 

Equestrian – While seated on a scooter board (horse), have child hold one end of a rope while someone pulls him along! Please use safety precautions with this activity, and assess if you feel your child’s postural control is adequate to remain upright and safe. If you notice unsteady balance or anticipate falls, have the child shift positions to lying on his stomach. Place beanbags around on the ground and while he is being pulled, have the child reach to collect each one along the path! These could also act as hay bales to feed his ‘horse’ after a long ride!

What you need: scooter board, rope, beanbags

Skills developed: strength, motor planning, balance, trunk co-contraction

Scooterboard Field HockeyWhile laying belly down on the scooter board, use ½ or 1/3 of a pool noodle as a hockey stick and swat the ball (aka puck) into a designated goal/net! Create a court to play with friends, or take shots one little athlete at a time. Check out this video example!

 

What you need: scooter board, pool noodles, Gertie Ball, flat smooth surface

Skills developed: strength, trunk co-contraction, visual-motor coordination, visual tracking

Pool Noodle Golf – Keep that pool noodle and Gertie Ball handy as you shift to a standing position for a round of golf! Find a large open space for those line drives and tip the tub on its’ side to carefully putt the ball for a hole in one!

What you need: pool noodles, Gertie Ball, tub (or dig a hole in the sand)

Skills developed: balance, trunk strength, bilateral coordination, visual-motor coordination

Park Pentathlon – 5 events tied into one package, the Park Pentathlon can be any combination of park play ideas that you create! Think obstacle course using park equipment, or putting 5 of the ideas in this post together, like a couple of track and field events with running or scooter boarding in between! Plan your Pentathlon with your child, using our Park Pentathlon Course printable here!

What you need: 5 activities or obstacles

Skills developed: motor planning, coordination, following directions (Skills may change depending on the activities that you choose!)

You may want: Sportime Move Cubes are fantastic for customizing activities, actions, and even creative academics! On paper or notecards, write a movement, action or list the park equipment and slide one notecard in each of the clear, plastic sleeves on each side of one cube. On the other cube, place one number on each side. Rolling both dice will give the child an action and how many times to complete the action!

Triathlon – Traditionally this event consists of swim, bike and run segments. At the park, anything goes! Here are a couple triads that can create great fun! We know that you have some amazing ideas as well, and we encourage you and your child to use them too!

Idea #1

  • Scooter board on belly across a paved court or the length of a path.
  • Pick up a beanbag or balloon and try to run back with it squeezed between your knees.
  • Climb up the side to the finish line/winners podium!

Idea #2

  • Draw the letters of the child’s name in a mixed up order on the ground. Using a squirt bottle have the child squirt each letter in sequence to spell his name correctly!
  • Scooter board, in a seated position, towards a climbing structure.
  • Climb up and over, across or any which way to get to the other side for the victorious finish!

What you need: 3 activities or obstacles (We’re tellin’ ya…those Move Cubes are awesome to create new sequences of actions!)

Skills developed: motor planning, coordination, following directions (Skills worked on are also dependent on which activities you choose!)

Synchronized Swinging – A play off of synchronized swimming, synchronized swinging is rewarding yet tough! On side-by-side swings, try to pump with your swing partner at the same time, using the same force, to go the same height! Once in sync, call out actions that the kids can do while swinging, or have them create their own! Some examples are: flutter kick your legs, bend your right leg then bend your left leg, open and close your legs like scissors 5 times. Can they stay in sync?

What you need: two swings, side by side

Skills developed: balance, trunk control, strength, bilateral motor control, motor planning, teamwork and social skills

Track and Field

Shot-put: How far can your child throw a beanbag or ball?

What you need: beanbags, lines on ground to measure distance

Long Jump: Measure the distance of each jump. What is the child’s personal best?

What you need: sandbox or stretch of grass, lines to measure distance

        Hurdles: Line up pool noodles, branches or chalk lines on the ground. Instead of running and leaping over (it’s pretty easy to do when the hurdle is laying on the ground), have child jump over each hurdle with both feet together! Place them jump distance apart, or a little extra for running room in between.

What you need: pool noodles, sidewalk chalk, nature finds like sticks or leaves

Javelin Toss: How far can that pool noodle be thrown? Can your child get it to land in the tub, or inside of a drawn circle in the sand?

What you need: pool noodles and a target

Sprint or Distance Run– Choose a ‘there and back’ course. Basketball courts or big grassy areas work well. Place beanbags at one end of the court or area. Have child run to the end, pick up a beanbag and race back to throw it in the tub!

Up the challenge: Print, color and place a picture of the Olympic rings at the start (like this one from KidSpot), numbering each ring 1-5. Using color coded beanbags, have the child identify which color to pick up first in the sequence, run to collect and bring it back. Continue with each color until all have been collected!

What you need: some good running shoes (or bare feet), a stopwatch, beanbags, printable Olympic rings (optional)

Skills developed: serial motor planning, coordination, visual motor coordination, strength

Scooter Board SlalomPlace beanbags on the ground randomly and draw a chalk line path weaving in and out of them. Have the child maneuver the scooter board on the path without touching the beanbags!

What you need: scooter board, beanbags, chalk path

Skills developed: visual motor coordination, motor coordination

Beanbag Archery– Place beanbags at the top of a slide. One at a time, climb up the side to retrieve a beanbag and slide back down. Once at the bottom, have the child throw the beanbag at a target (tree, ball balanced on your hand). Continue this sequence until beanbags are all used, and count how many times the child hit the target!

What you need: beanbags, target, slide

Skills developed: visual-motor coordination, strength, trunk strength, arm strength

Squirt Bottle Archery Math A little theme play can go a long way when you are trying to sprinkle in a little math practice! Draw numbers on the sidewalk. Call out a math problem and have the child squirt the number that is his answer using the water squirt bottle! You can also do this with Olympic trivia: How many rings are in the Olympic rings? The bronze medal means you finished #1, #2, or #3?

What you need: squirt bottle, chalk

Skills developed: visual-motor coordination, motor planning, hand strength, academics

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Scooter Board Swimming– This one is extra fun if you have a wall to push off of! While the child is on his belly on a scooter board, push off from the wall using feet to glide across a smooth, paved surface. Using hands/arms to push himself the rest to the other side, turn around and come back. That counts as one lap. Remind your child to try to keep his hands and legs up off of the pavement for as long as possible to extend the glide!

You can also hold a long rope, or tie it to something stable. Drape it as far as it will reach for the stretch of your surface so your swimmer can pull himself back to the wall and start another lap. Use the squirt bottle to mist your swimmers as they complete their laps!

What you need: scooter board, basketball court or length of sidewalk, rope, squirt bottle

Skills developed: strength, trunk co-contraction, motor planning, balance

Weightlifting – Add some sand to your park kit tub or bucket. Tie one end of the rope securely to the handles and fling the other end up and over a chin-up bar or one of the monkey bars. Have your child slowly pull the rope, hand over hand, to elevate the bucket off of the ground. Add more sand each time to increase the weight of the bucket and build big muscles!

What you need: tub, rope, sand (or anything you can find that will add weight to your tub)

Skills developed: upper body strength, grip strength, gradation of force to slowly elevate and lower tub, body awareness

DivingKeeping an upright body position (unless you are really diving into a pool!), find a surface that is an appropriate height for your child to jump off of. Create a body position or short sequence for the child to imitate while in mid-jump! How many different positions can your child think of? Call out a body part for your child to tap during the jump! You can also try these same activities sliding down a slide!

What you need: a curb, park bench or end of a slide to jump off of, slide

Skills developed: motor coordination, motor planning, short term memory, auditory processing and actions based on verbal instruction

Don’t forget to celebrate all of the victories with blowing bubbles at the end of your Olympic day at the park!


For some tabletop Olympic fun, click here to check out these great printable and blogged about ideas from Activity Village!

A super cute, Olympic themed Find and Color activity page can also be found over at Your Therapy Source! (There is actually an entire packet of summer Olympic activities you can find there too!)

To download your FREE set of our Summer Olympic Games printables,  click here

What are some of your favorite Olympic themed activites to bring to the park or playground? Comment below to share your ideas!

 

Theme Play at the Park: Star Wars

Star Wars has been loved for generations. Starting with the movies, branching out to toys, and even DIY light sabers and masks.  Adults and children alike go crazy for all things Star Wars, so why wouldn’t you use its magnetizing powers for good (at the park)? Read more

Common Questions from Parents to their Occupational Therapists

The park is all fun and games, until it isn’t! Playing at the park can present some interesting challenges, thoughts to ponder, and frustrations to navigate. Sometimes children just don’t seem to engage in playground opportunities like we hope they will. Read more

The Highly Sensitive Child: Too fast, too high, too much?

A common question: How do I make the park fun for my sensitive and cautious child?

There is a big assumption out there that the park is fun for all. Who wouldn’t want to fly down the slides, reach for the sky on the swings, and kick off their shoes in the sand box, right? Read more

Park Swings: 4 Ways to Use Them (therapeutically!)

Flying through the air, floating weightless in the water, and laughing until milk comes out your nose  – can anyone think of moments more carefree than these?  Few things in life can hold a candle to that feeling of gliding through the air on park swings. Read more

Park Slides: 3 of our favorite activities

Remember the thrill that first time you went down a new slide as a child? They felt so high, so fast, and (sometimes, eventually) so FUN! Slides are staple pieces of equipment found in most local parks. They come in all shapes and sizes and can all pretty much be used in similar ways. Read more

Contact Us

If you are not at the park, drop us an email!