Summer camp is an exciting experience for most kids, but what if you could create a custom sensory summer camp that supports sensory processing for all needs? Summer is a time of learning, fun, and new adventures over the lazy days of summer. Summer camp in the traditional sense is a time of themed activities that build character for a child.
However, it’s not always possible to sign up for a week of summer camp. Summer camp is expensive. Parents work or have busy schedules that make a week-long summer camp just not feasible. A backyard DIY summer camp experience is a way to save money while creating a summer learning experiences right in the backyard.
Be sure to check out this resource on how to run a therapy camp for tips and strategies with sensory summer camp planning.
Sensory Summer Camp
One great addition to a sensory summer camp is our free summer sensory path! It’s a free sensory printable you can hang on a wall to add sensory motor, mindfulness, and sensory coping tools with a summer theme.
I’m joining several other bloggers who write about sensory processing in a Sensory Summer Camp at Home backyard summer camp experience.
Scroll through the links below to find enough sensory summer camp themes and ideas to last all summer long. You’ll find themed activities touching on all of the sensory systems to create an environment of learning through the senses.
Looking for a sensory camp that supports specific needs? No worries! The activities below support and challenge sensory touch!
You can find so many summer sensory activities here on the website to address various sensory motor considerations.
Specifically, these summer occupational therapy activities support development of skills across the board while focusing on the primary job of kids: play!
These sensory summer camp experiences are perfect for the child who craves or resists sensory input and can be modified to meet the needs of every child with sensory processing disorder. While these sensory summer camp ideas are perfect for kids with sensory processing disorder, they can easily be used in traditional summer camps. So, take a look at each of the camp themes below and get ready for a summer of sensory fun and memories!
Looking for activities and ideas to use in summer programming? You’ll love our new Summer Occupational Therapy Activities Packet. It’s a collection of 14 items that guide summer programming at home, at school, and in therapy sessions. The summer activities bundle covers handwriting, visual perceptual skills and visual motor skills, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, regulation, and more.
You’ll find ideas to use in virtual therapy sessions and to send home as home activities that build skills and power development with a fun, summer theme. Kids will love the Summer Spot It! game, the puzzles, handouts, and movement activities. Therapists will love the teletherapy slide deck and the easy, ready-to-go activities to slot into OT sessions. The packet is only $10.00 and can be used over and over again for every student/client!
n the Summer OT packet, you’ll find:
- Beach Fun Google Slide Deck/PDF set
- Summer Spot It! Printable Game
- Hole Punch Cards for matching upper case and lower case letters
- 7 Roll and Write Play Dough Sheets – Apples, Bees, Bugs, Buttons, Donuts, Play Dough, and Unicorn themes
- Summer Fun Pencil Control Strips
- Summer Lists Writing Prompts
- Summer Number Practice
- Summer Visual Perception Pages
All of the Summer OT activities include ideas to promote various developmental areas with a Summer-theme. Activities guide and challenge development of handwriting, eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination, body scheme, oculomotor control, visual perception, fine motor skills, self-regulation, gross motor skills, and more.
Use these activities as warm-ups to your therapy sessions, or add them to the homework page below to create a home program.
Occupational Therapy Summer Camp
I love the play-based sensory and motor activities in the summer camp ideas listed below. Each would be a great summer camp theme for using in an occupational therapy summer camp.
OT professionals know the power of play. But occupational therapy supports development, and while a traditional occupational therapy summer camp may not be an individualized process, there is still skill development happening even in a group setting.
An occupational therapy summer camp can focus on an area of function: sensory play experiences, handwriting, shoe tying, use of typing programs, or social emotional skills. The sky is the limit this summer when it comes to OT camps as a tool and resource for kids and parents.
However, because an OT camp might not be focused on individual needs and goals of the camp participant, a summer occupational therapy camp can integrate play, sensory experiences, and any summer theme you can imagine.
Address handwriting skills during a summer camp with sensory input, tactile play, and sensory motor experiences!
Sensory Space Camp | My Mundane and Miraculous Life
Sensory Olympic Games Camp | Growing Hands on Kids
Sensory Nature Camp | Putting Socks on Chickens
The Sensory Lifestyle Handbook walks you through sensory processing information, each step of creating a meaningful and motivating sensory diet, that is guided by the individual’s personal interests and preferences.
The Sensory Lifestyle Handbook is not just about creating a sensory diet to meet sensory processing needs. This handbook is your key to creating an active and thriving lifestyle based on a deep understanding of sensory processing.
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.