OT-Approved Summer Activity Ideas

Summer is quickly approaching!  It can certainly be a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the school year, but it can also be hard to keep kids engaged in activities.  Today, I want to highlight some of my favorite, OT-approved summer activities that I will be doing with my own kids and you may want to try them too!

Play Outside Whenever Possible

There truly are so many benefits to outdoor play for our kids.  Check out this blog for more.  In the summer, I find it so much easier to incorporate this into our daily routine.  If you find long outdoor play sessions overwhelming, start small in your backyard or with a walk around the neighborhood.

Messy Sensory Play

I recently wrote a blog with reasons why messy play is great, check it out here.  Summer is such a great time to incorporate messy tactile sensory experiences.  Playing the sand, digging in the dirt, blowing bubbles, sidewalk chalk and painting are all excellent ideas.  Take these activities outdoors for more benefits and easy cleanup!

Swimming and Water Play

Swimming is an amazing activity for building strength and body awareness.  Water play can come in many other forms, including sprinklers, water table, water guns and water balloons.

Community Outings

Not only are outings great for breaking up the day, you can work on many important social and life skills.  Some outings that I have on my list for this summer include the library (connecting this to a summer reading challenge), the grocery store (connecting to cooking activities and making lunches), local museums and nature centers.

Independent Play

It is totally ok to find balance this summer.  It is not possible to consistently engage our kids in Pitnerest-worthy activities all the time.  I am going to try my best to encourage my kids to have some kind of independent play (without screens!) each day.  I can already hear the ‘I’m bored’ complaints, but encouraging them to find a way to entertain themselves without my constant prompting can teach important life skills such as creativity and persistence.  This may not work for everyone, and that’s ok, but if you can incorporate it into your day for your kids it may be worth a shot.

Household Chores and Activities

I know, I know – I can already hear the groans and sighs from my kids.  But, I think household chores and activities can be very valuable to focus on in the summer.  I know during the school year, I have great intentions of my kids completing daily chores, but sometimes it is just easier for me to do it myself.  This summer, I will encourage my kids to complete daily household activities that may include helping with laundry, vacuuming, wiping off surfaces, packing their lunches, assisting with grocery shopping, and taking out the trash.  These activities teach important life and executive functioning skills, and we have the time and flexibility in the summer to really focus on them if they are challenging.

What activities are you planning on incorporating for your kids or students this summer?


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