Occupational Therapy for Children
Our expert occupational therapists evaluate and treat children with conditions related to general development, sensorimotor skills, play, feeding and daily living skills to enhance each child's capabilities. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) provides a helpful document that explains the role of occupational therapy with children and youth.
Play is a Child's Work!
Play is the work of childhood, and toys are the tools of the occupation of play! Click here for a wealth of great tips on choosing toys for the children in your life!
- Tips for Choosing Toys
- "1-2-3 Just PLAY with me!". You can order a sturdy box filled with cards to assist your child to meet developmental milestones through creative play suggestions for each stage!
- Pathways is a great resource with videos, games and milestones, to assist families through a child's development.
- The Baby Center shares the developments of an infant and can help you choose toys that are appropriate for a newborn!
- Play By Age is a great link to showcase activities for a child. The website gives you activities from ages 1 through over 5 years of age.
- The Imagination Tree provides you with 20 fun ways to play with your 6-18 month old!
- If you're looking for more fun appropriate play for your infant, this link will give you plenty of fun activities to do at different stages.
- Zero to Three shares a lovely video on what is happening when your child is playing. Take a look!
- Parents Magazine has an amazing link that gives you a weekly and monthly guide to your baby's physical and intellectual development!
Toys are not only to have fun, but also to help sustain curiosity
for learning! However, many children with limited motor skills do not get the
chance to interact with most of the cool toys that are readily usable by
everyone else. There are ways of making these toys accessible to all children! University
of Washington’s HuskyADAPT Collaboration Program is a great resource for
learning and participating in toy adaptation! Below are some great links to help you transform toys to make it accessible to all!
Self Care for Kids!
Learning how to take care of yourself is part of growing up! Occupational therapists can help kids learn how to dress, bathe, use the bathroom, brush teeth, and all other daily living tasks! Click here for additional resources!
Heavy Work Ideas for Toddlers to Promote Body Awareness and Self-Regulation
Our brains receive information about body and spatial awareness by lifting, pushing, and pulling heavy objects (also known as “heavy work”). A child can also activate this sensory feedback by compressing the joints with activities such as jumping on a trampoline or crashing into a cushion, and stretching the joints by hanging from monkey bars or climbing a rock wall. Learn more about what other activities activate these senses.
Independent Living Skills!
All kids benefit from working on independent living skills (cooking, money management, using schedules, use of phones, etc.) from an early age, and as they grow this becomes even more important! Check out this section for resources to assist your child in becoming independent!
"Your Special Chef" is a collection of resources to help teach cooking skills to individuals with a variety of special needs. The website has simple to complex breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and drink recipes with visual picture instructions to help plan and sequence steps of cooking tasks as well as safety warnings to help practice kitchen safety.
Fine Motor Skill Development!
Developing the muscles in the hand and the ability to use your hands is critical for children in all activities they engage in! Occupational therapists can help kids learn how to use their hands and to develop skills such as writing, typing, using scissors, and buttoning a shirt! Click on these links for additional resources to use at home!
Handwriting and keyboarding are both skills students need to master to produce effective written work. These two skills work together in the classroom to create an engaged, balanced, and successful learning environment. View the document, Handwriting and Keyboarding Skills: Standards for the Production & Presentation of Writing to help guide instruction to make sure that children are learning to write and type in a developmental order that promotes success.
It is a Sensory World out there for Kids!
Occupational therapists are skilled at assisting children to get to know their bodies and to learn how to regulate their behaviors in response to the sensory experiences they encounter every day! The following links provide useful information for parents seeking to further help their child develop strong sensory regulation skills!
Research, education, and awareness from the Sensory Processing Disorders Foundation (SPD foundation)
Networking for parents and professionals working with children with Sensory Processing Disorders, along with articles and support, from Sensory Planet
Recreation, Play, and Camps resources click here.
The Play Lounge is a wonderful place for families to play. For more information, check out their Facebook page!