4.Balloon Volleyball: Blow up a balloon and see how long you can keep it in the air. Pass it back and forth between a partner. Try using your hands and feet. Play independently by moving through an obstacle course while hitting the balloon to yourself.
5. Laundry Basketball: Roll up some socks or other laundry items. Place them to the left and right of your child. Have you child positioned in a tall kneeling position. Have them side bend to retrieve the laundry. Shoot it into the basket! Make the task more challenging by:
Moving the laundry basket further away from the child.
Scattering the laundry items further around the child.
Holding the laundry basket while moving around the room.
Tilting the laundry basket away from them, then toward them.
Having the child kneel on a more unstable surface (such as a pillow)
Having the child kneel on one leg.
Having the child shoot smaller laundry items/laundry items that weigh less.
Heavy work: We use this term describe proprioceptive input. Proprioceptive input involves providing input to our muscles, joints, and ligaments to help our body realize where we are in space. It also can have a calming/focusing effect for those who have a hard time staying seated during academic work.
*Try a few of these heavy work activities before seated work*
Push a filled laundry basket: Heavy enough so it requires some work but not too heavy so that the child cant move it. Make an obstacle course to push the basket around. Try putting different weighted items inside: books, stuffed animals, what ever you can find!
Wheelbarrow walking: Have a partner grab your legs while you use your arms to propel forward. Race against another team if there are enough people. Maneuver through an obstacle course if you and a partner are by yourself!
Scrub with a sponge or brush: Have you kids help you clean table top surfaces by scrubbing them with sponge or brush. This provide great proprioceptive input for the upper extremities.
Turtle walks: Place a heavy pillow, blanket, or other item on your child’s back. See how far they can crawl with their “turtle shell” on their back.
March or Jog: Stand in place and march or jog to a beat. Make sure you are really stomping your feet!
Pour small items back and forth between containers: use rice, water, pebbles, etc.
Pinch clothespins: Pinch them onto paper, string, cardboard, or a hanger. Use each individual finger with you thumb to manipulate the clothes pin OR try using your first two fingers and thumb at the same time.
Cookies cutter play: Play with cookie cutters using play dough, real dough, putty or slime! Try using one hand or two.
Penny push through: Find an old plastic container and place a slit into it. Have your child push pennies through the slot. Use just you first finger and thumb or your first two fingers. Depending on items at home, you could make multiple slots: marble sized, toothpick size, pom pom size, etc.
Double doodling is a fun activity that is great for all ages! It had many benefits including:
Establishing direction and orientation in space relative to your body
Promotes bilateral integration of the eyes and hands
Develops visual discrimination and spatial awareness
Strengthens coordination between the left and right sides of the brain
Double Doodling Directions:
Holding a marker in each hand, place the tips side by side at the center of the paper. Begin drawing with both markers at the same time, creating a mirror image. For example, when the left marker is heading left to the edge of the paper, the right marker should be heading right to the other edge of the paper. When one marker is heading toward the center, the other should be as well.
Shape Scavenger Hunt: Have your kids draw simple shapes on separate pieces of paper. The child can go on a scavenger hunt to find items around the house that match each shape! Sort them on each piece of paper:
Sensory activity: Pull the pillows as cushions off the couch and place them into a big pile. Crash/jump into the cushions! Squeeze your kids between them like a human sandwich!
Writing Activity: Download the link below to complete box and dot chart for letter formation practice. Start letters from the dot and keep them in the box!
Hello everyone! I am Alyssa Sanders, an occupational therapist at Whitmore-Bolles, Becker, and Oakman. During this uncertain time, I am going to try and provide resources and activities through this blog to help support you and your children at home. In each of the menus at the top, you can find information/activities to support different areas of function. I also will provide new functional activities throughout the week that can be completed at home during this trying time! If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep an eye out for more posts in the near future. Stay safe!