• Coastal Therapy

Summer FUN ideas by OT’s Part 2: Indoor play

OK, so summer may be over for the big kids but this Florida heat is. not. letting. up. Here are some fun indoor activities to keep the FUN of summer going, all while working on many OT related goals. These activities are a great way to beat the heat or make the best of a rainy Saturday afternoon! We hope you enjoy! Let us know some of your favorite indoor summer activities as well!





Rainbow Sun Catcher


A tissue paper sun catcher is a fun way to keep your little one occupied on a rainy day! It will look beautiful hanging in a sunny window when the weather turns around! This is a great activity for fine motor and visual motor skills, following directions, and sequencing.


Materials:

Wax paper

Watered down glue

Sponge brush or Paint brush

Tissue paper (yellow, red, blue, green, purple, orange)


Instructions:

1. First cut out rainbow arch from wax paper to best fit your window, with a width of 5-6 inches.

2. Then brush the watered down glue all over the waxed paper


3. Tear pieces of tissue paper and press them onto the piece of wax paper.


4. Brush more of the glue mixture over the entire rainbow.

4. After the sun catcher has dried (approximately 2 hours), hang it in the window to let the sun shine through.






Yoga


Find the stillness in this summer and practice yoga! Yoga helps foster relaxation, mindfulness, physical, mental and emotional strength, coordination, and body awareness, all while having fun! There is much more to yoga than the poses. Embrace all the facets of the yoga philosophy by teaching your kiddos to sit silently, breath, be a kind and happy person, do community service projects, and yes, practice those yoga poses! Check out our favorite poses for kids here.


Find a variety of ways to integrate yoga into your weekend plans:

  1. Play yoga-pose bingo

  2. Practice calming yoga poses at bedtime

  3. Write in a Gratitude Journal every day

  4. Read children’s books on kindness, happiness, and acceptance

  5. Act out your day’s adventures through yoga poses for kids (ex. trip to farm, beach, or zoo)

  6. Make up yoga games (ex. yogi says, yoga Pictionary, strike a pose, freeze yoga tag)

  7. Plan a yoga party


Watermelon Fun


We all love a juicy watermelon for a snack in the heat of summer! For this fun activity, explore a real watermelon together. This is a great tactile sensory experience for those little ones that don’t like to get messy!


Keep those hands strong and get a hold of an ice cream scoop or melon baller to make melon balls, or cookie cutters to make watermelon shapes! Additionally, you can practice cutting skills with a plastic knife.







Balloon Games


A simple balloon could keep your kiddo busy for awhile with these fun games that are sure to challenge their minds and muscles! Leaving them a little stronger and more likely to sleep a little better at night.


Penguin Waddle: Place the balloon between the knees and waddle like a penguin without the balling touching the ground. Make it more challenging and set up obstacles to go through. This is great for strengthening hips, core and bilateral coordination.


Balloon Taps: Hang a balloon by a string at the top of your doorway just above their arms reach. Have your child jump to see how many times they can tap the balloon in a row. Make it more challenging and see if they can jump high enough to touch the balloon with the top of their head! A great overall body workout and coordination exercise that will tire them out quickly!


Balloon Blow: Set up a “course” and see if your child can blow a balloon all the way to the finish line. They’ll have to do lots of army crawls working their upper body and core strength along the way. Additionally, this is also a great oral motor exercise for building strength and coordination, as well as, great input for those kiddos that seek oral sensory input.


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Coastal Connection blog post contributor, Lanna Koop OTR/L

Lanna joined the Coastal team in 2017. Lanna, originally from Ohio, attended The Ohio State University where she earned her undergraduate degree in Human Development and Family Science with a minor in early childhood education. She continued her education to pursue her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from Shawnee State University in southern Ohio. Lanna completed her fieldwork at the Cleveland Clinic and at a School for children with Autism and other developmental disabilities. After completing her educational coursework, Lanna’s love for travel and the mountains took her to New Hampshire when she gained experience in a skilled nursing and rehab center. She moved to Jacksonville in 2015 with her husband, and whole heartedly chose to pursue her love of working with children, serving in a variety of schools and private pediatric clinics around the area.


Lanna has experience with a variety of diagnoses including, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Apraxia, Sensory Processing Disorder, genetic disorders, and developmental delays. Some of her professional education include courses in the Astronaut Training program, the Integrated Listening System Practitioner Training, Solving the Puzzle of Autism: Using Tactile Therapy Techniques (Talk Tools), Nutrition and Autism, and Handwriting Without Tears.


Lanna loves having the opportunity to be a part of each one of her patient’s story, and sharing in the successes, small and big. She believes one of the best feelings in the world is being a part of the progress. She loves that occupational therapy is both an art and a science, allowing her to be creative coming up with fun activities to implement individualized approaches to help her clients reach their goals.


In her free time, Lanna loves spending time with her husband and their energetic border collie, Isabella, riding bikes and playing at the beach.