Tag: sensory activities

OT Outside Play

Let’s Play Outside – OT Approved Summer Activities

Let’s Play Outside!

Playing outside provides so many benefits to our little ones, it helps expand their sensory system, promote relaxation strategies, provides physical exercise, facilitates motor skill development, and it allows your child to be creative! Here are some outside OT play activities for this summer season. 


1. Chalk

Chalk is a fun way to be creative when outside but also allows you to work on your gross and fine motor skills as well! Your child can draw shapes or create sensory paths, or even draw a simple hopscotch design. 

TIP: You can also smash the chalk and add water to make a thick paint and have your child paint the driveway using a brush! 


2. Sensory Tables

Fill a bucket with water and sand, use shovels to scoop, build sand castles, or search for hidden underwater creatures or seashells in the sand! This sensory activity is perfect for developing hand strength, fine motor skills, tolerating various textures, and language development. 

TIP: Sensory tables are so easy to change out, depending on your child’s age. Water with cut up fruit slices is an easy way to explore various textures and smells too!


3. Jump Rope

Jump rope is a great way for your child to work on gross motor and motor planning skills. You can play multiple ways: use a single rope to start or use two ropes to complete double dutch if you want a challenge. 

TIP: You can use the jump rope to play a game of snake to facilitate jumping skills and visual motor skills too. 


4. Water Balloons

Fill up water balloons and play catch, throw at a target, or use rackets or baseball bats to hit them with! There are so many ways to facilitate eye hand coordination skills, frustration tolerance, and bilateral coordination skills using this simple activity. 

TIP: You can also dip your water balloons into paint and throw them or pop them on a canvas to paint. 


5. Bubbles

Blowing bubbles is a great way to work on oral motor skills but also provides your child with a way to regulate themselves as well through deep breathing. 

TIP: Have a popping contest and see who can utilize their index finger to pop all of the bubbles first or the fastest to facilitate visual motor skills or fine motor coordination skills. 

Give these outside OT play activities a try this summer! If you would like to learn more about occupational therapy, visit our OT webpage here  and if your child has difficulty engaging in any of the activities previously listed check out our milestones webpage  or free screening

Written By: Kiersten Robertson, MOT, OTR/L

“I’m So Bored”

Movement and sensory experiences allow us to grow as an individual through problem solving, body awareness and creativity. Here are some great activities to get your child moving and ways to stay creative while the colder weather moves in!

Movement: Movement activities allow your child to get their energy out and move in a new way.

Make your own obstacle course

  • Find supplies around the house! Use pillows, chairs, a tunnel, baskets, blankets, painters tape, etc.
  • Add in some moves! Animal walks, hopping, walking backwards, jumping jacks, cross crawls, etc.

Tape pathways

  • Use some painters tape and make a variety of paths on the floor (zig zag, straight line, boxes, etc.)
  • Then have your child walk the path without losing their balance. OR have them push a toy car along the “road.”

Balloon tap

  • Blow up some balloons and let your child have fun!
  • Play keep it up, tap it back and forth, or even kick it!

Hide and seek

  • Hide a certain amount of objects around the house- this can be toys, pictures with different symbols, a deck of cards, etc.
  • Have your child scan the room to find the missing items!

Sensory Play: Sensory activities are also great for exploring new textures and being creative! 

Snow dough

  • Here is a link to the video and instructions!
  • Supplies needed: Hair conditioner and cornstarch
  • Once made, use cookie cutters, build a snowman, hide small items inside, etc.

 Ice cube painting

  • Use an ice cube tray and fill it with a mixture of water, koolaid or food coloring, then place a popsicle stick in each part and freeze it!
  • Once frozen, use them to paint

Sensory bins

  • Use a bin or even a ziploc bag to place various materials in. You can use:
    • cooked spaghetti, sand, crinkle paper, water, beans, rice, Pluffle, etc.
  • Hide some items within your chosen material and then find them! Examples of items:
    • Legos, action figures, cars, dinosaurs, puzzle pieces, blocks, animal toys, etc.

Shaving cream

  • Place shaving cream on a cookie tray with cars, legos, or any toy! And enjoy!

If your child has difficulty completing any of these gross motor tasks or tolerating any of these sensory related activities, schedule a free screen with BDI Playhouse Children’s Therapy through the office or the website at  https://bdiplayhouse.com/free-screenings/.

Written By: Kiersten Robertson, MOT, OTR/L