Five therapy activities parents can do during the normal routine

Woman and child washing dishesEditor’s Note: Sara’s post originally appeared on the Easter Seals Crossroads blog. Check it out!

Occupational therapy can play a key role in helping a child meet developmental milestones. There are times when it is appropriate for an occupational therapist to visit a family in their home, or times when a child needs to visit Easter Seals Crossroads to use specific equipment in our sensory and therapy rooms, but some therapy activities can be conducted by a parent during their child’s normal daily routine.

We asked two of our occupational therapists, Teri Maloney and Claire Werner, for a short list of therapy activities that can be done during activities of daily living.

  1. Utilize bath time for more than just cleaning. Use bath bubbles or bath crayons to practice letter formation and handwriting in a fun environment. Also during bath time, allow your child to practice hand strengthening by wringing the bath water out of a washcloth.
  2. Use tweezers instead of forks during dinner and pretend they are chopsticks! Another great way to practice hand strengthening.
  3. Cooking can take a lot of upper body strength, so bring your child into the kitchen and allow them to measure and pour liquids or stir the cookie dough batter (Then reward them with a cookie!).
  4. Yoga is a great way to help strengthen the upper body and the core, and can also be very calming for kids with high arousal sensory issues. Practice yoga near bedtime as part of a routine to get ready to sleep.
  5. Learning to hold a toothbrush in one hand and squeeze toothpaste with the other helps a child practice bilateral coordination.

How do you integrate therapy into your child’s daily routine? Leave a comment and let us know!

Are you considering occupational therapy for your child, or are you unsure if your child is in need of therapy services? Consider taking the free online Ages & Stages Questionnaire, a tool that will help you see if your child’s developmental progress is on time.


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