Welcome to the American Occupational Therapy Association's Checking the Pulse blog. My name is Stephanie Yamkovenko, and thanks for reading the blog.
Here you will find news about occupational therapy, current health news, and more. I regularly blog about apps that clinicians can use in practice, autism issues, managing chronic conditions, wounded warriors, and more.
AOTA members receive the biweekly OT Practice Pulse e-newsletter where we share resources and news from AOTA and other sources that directly affect occupational therapy practice—curated just for members! Here on the Checking the Pulse blog, I will share even more relevant and interesting news, videos, blogs, and more.
I read hundreds of articles about health, wellness, and policy every week to find the most engaging and enlightening content for you. Blog readers can stay in the know, go beyond the news, and find out how the latest health news affect occupational therapy.
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Summer officially kicks off this weekend! To celebrate, we’ve found activities and ideas from OTs to go with the four best things about summer (from a kid’s point of view!)—playing outside, no school, getting wet, and going on vacation!
You can use the ideas and activities below to try with your clients and to share with their families.
Best Things About Summer:
1) Playing Outside
Of course the children will spend time playing outside during summer, and if you want to encourage them to get outdoors more often check out these ideas.
The Playapy Blog has some fun exercises for outdoors that can help improve or maintain the stability of shoulders, which is necessary for good posture and handwriting skills. Check them out.
Summer also means prime time for growing vegetables and fruit in your garden, but what if you got the kids involved as well? Your Kids Table has some tips on gardening with children. Bonus! Getting them involved in the garden could help improve their eating (especially for picky eaters).
Speaking of gardens, time spent outside in the garden can be a great sensory experience. You can use these ideas in your garden to provide more opportunities for people to experience nature through the senses.
2) No school!
Ok, who are we kidding? Kids love summer because there’s no school!
Make the most of their time off by sneaking in activities that will actually help promote school readiness all summer long. And, no, this isn’t sitting at a table doing math homework. Children will think these ideas are totally fun!
Need some more ideas to help your clients improve hand strength and fine motor control during the summer? OT Tips for Public Schools has a list of activities that can be done at home to work on this, such as helping wash the car with a big sponge and creating a fort with cardboard boxes.
3) Getting to play in the pool or with water
My personal favorite part of summer is spending time in the water—whether that’s the pool, lake, ocean, or even running through the sprinkler! Mama OT recently posted a tutorial on making your own water wall to help your kids have some water fun this summer. Check it out.
You’ll also want to read Mama OT’s 10 awesome summer activities for kids for even more water ideas.
4) Going out with the family or going on vacation!
Who doesn’t love a family vacation? Whether you’re going hundreds of miles from home or around the block, it is always fun to take trips during summer.
We love this post of 25 books you can read with your family and then outings you can go on after reading the book. Who doesn’t love a great book? For example, you can read the book Eating the Alphabet and then take your family to the Farmer’s Market. See them all here.
Going on a plane this summer? Get your kids ready for this new experience with the Off We Go app. Read more and also get a link to a post with tips for flying with a child with autism.
What are your tips or ideas for summer? Which of these will you be trying out? Tell us in the comments.
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