Pediatric Occupational Therapy Summer Activities

Cool Summertime Activities
By Alex Beschomer, teli Occupational Therapist
Are you prepared for those lazy, hazy days of summer? We have some fun ideas on how to help your kiddos enjoy their time both inside and outside while developing their fine motor skills.

Outdoor Activity
sensory bin_pediatric occupational therapy

Icy Sensory Bin:
Water play is a summertime staple for many families, but this activity takes fun with water to a whole new (and cooler) level! In order to beat the heat and develop both fine motor and sensory processing skills, try making an icy sensory bin for your kiddo.
What you will need:

  • A large tub, bowl,  or bucket
  • Enough ice to fill the bucket – purchased or right from your freezer
  • Household tools for scooping and dumping – measuring cups, large wooden spoons or drinking cup are perfect!

Fill a bucket or large tub with ice and encourage your child to touch and feel the ice for a tactile sensory experience.  Encourage him or her to scoop and dump the ice into and out of containers for development fine motor coordination. For an added fine motor activity, small plastic toys could be hidden among the ice cubes for your child to find.

Indoor Activity

Pool Noodle Fine Motor Fun:
Summer will be here before we know it and along with summer comes sunshine, popsicles, swimming, and…..pool noodles! These simple (and inexpensive!) seasonal pool toys can be easily transformed into a number of fun fine motor activities for your little one. For the best results purchase a hollow pool noodle, which can usually be found for $3-4.
pediatric occupational therapy summer activity

Activity #1: Pom-poms and Pool Noodles
What you will need:

  • A bag of fuzzy of assorted sizes pom-pom balls found at craft stores or large retail stores.
  • A pool noodle cut width wise into several pieces about 1 to 2 inches in height, using a serrated knife or a hefty pair of scissors.

Encourage your child to place the small pom-pom balls into the holes of the pool noodle pieces and then poke them through the hole. This will help develop his or her pincer grasp, finger isolation, visual motor coordination, and dexterity. Additionally, the larger pom-pom balls can be placed on top of the holes, further developing grasp and also working on fine motor control.