Looking for summer occupational therapy activities to support skill building or developmental areas with a summer OT theme? Today, we have a spin on our traditional occupational therapy activities to bring you Summer occupational therapy strategies that can be used in summer sessions or in home programs for the summer.
Summer Occupational Therapy Activities
This year’s summer OT activities may look a little different than previous years. In years past, therapists may have been gearing up for an end of another school year and a break from in-person OT sessions. In recent years, you may be seeing more pencil grasp needs, self-regulation needs, handwriting issues, and fine motor skill needs.
What hasn’t changed about the end of a school year is the carefree days of summer that are ahead. As an OT, I love the feeling of the start of summer. There is just something about back-to-the-basics play of summer. Running around the backyard, hopping on bikes, sidewalk chalk, sprinklers and water play…summer play is a goldmine of motor and sensory activities that can boost those underlying skills kids NEED.
Because of this, I wanted to put together a resource on summer occupational therapy activities that can be implemented today. These are strategies to use for your own child to boost development and challenge skills. These are ideas to use in teletherapy or in home programs. These are play ideas that help kids with the balance of screens and active play. Use the summer resources for parents, teachers, and therapists to develop underlying skills in very fun ways! These are AWESOME summer occupational therapy activities!
Let’s help kids struggling from a year of mega-screen overload meet the goals they need to thrive. Plus…take more time for you this summer by using done-for-you resources!
Summer Occupational Therapy Activities
In many areas, schools are winding down for the year. You may have a few weeks or a few days left. The daily countdown of number of remaining school days is dwindling.
You might be wondering how to balance work-from home and making summer days count.
You might be wondering how to keep the kids busy this summer without breaking the bank.
You might be a clinician thinking about summer programming and need a few fresh ideas.
You might be thinking about summer plans and ways to encourage development in fun ways the whole family can enjoy.
You might be a therapist putting together summer home programs.
You might be a teacher who is READY for the final bell to ring this school year 🙂
I wanted to put together a list of resources for summer activities that can boost the skills kids need. The “summer slide” can happen in handwriting and other school-based therapy goal areas, too!
Summer Occupational Therapy Activity Resources
~ Add these hula hoop activities to therapy sessions.
~ Print off and send home this list of 100 things to do this Summer. It’s a therapist-approved list of Summer activities!
~Print off these Summer Writing Lists to work on handwriting skills.
~Grab some of the materials in The OT Toolbox Member’s Club. There is something for everyone and Summer themed activities to support all skill levels.
~ Do some or all of the activities listed here in this Sensory Summer Camp at Home plan. All of the activities and ideas are free and use items you probably already have.
~ Try some of the activities in this Summer Activity Guide designed to encourage play and creativity in activities for the whole family.
~ Practice the motor planning and fine motor skills needed for handwriting and with a sensory twist using the ideas outlined in this Sensory Handwriting Backyard Summer Camp.
~ Try these Backyard Vestibular Activities for Summer to encourage movement and sensory experiences right in the backyard.
~ Print off this June Occupational Therapy Calendar for ideas to last the whole month. (It’s from a couple of years back so the dates are off, but the activities still work!)
~ These no-prep, basically free summer activities won’t break the bank and boost the underlying skills kids NEED, in fun ways.
~Make a summer time capsule with the whole family and create memories that can be looked back on years from now.
~Create a summer kick-off bucket filled with toys and items for months of sensory play.
~The kids will love these frozen fruit kabob snacks. It’s a great alerting sensory snack that doubles as a healthy summer treat.
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!
Grab the Spring Occupational Therapy Activities Packet HERE.
NEW RESOURCE: The Summer Fine Motor Kit– This 90 page packet it specifically designed to build the motor skills kids have been limited in over the past year or so: handwriting, cutting with scissors, small motor manipulation, arch development and hand endurance, strength, pinch, and coloring. The Summer Fine Motor Kit includes different tools and materials than our other fine motor kits, but has some of the most-requested favorites in fun summer themes:
- Summer Play Dough/Handwriting Mats (3 writing paper styles: single rule, double rule, and highlighted lines)
- Lacing cards
- Color and cut sensory bin cards
- Sea Creature, Summer Play, & Summer Treats Silly Paths (great for pencil control and eye-hand coordination)
- Tracing mazes/ Fine motor mazes
- Symmetry drawing page
- Fine Motor Flip Pages (flip a coin or small object and place them along a path)
- Glue skills pages
- Prewriting shapes sheets
- Toothpick art activities
- Pencil control worksheets/Fine motor placement paths
- Scissor skills activities (simple and complex shapes)
- Sensory bin cards
NEW RESOURCE: The Summer OT Bundle– Want to cover all your bases this summer? This bundle has everything you need for therapy planning, home programs, summer camps, Grandma’s house, or extended school year programs so you can just print and go. The bundle is $20 and includes:
- The Summer Fine Motor Kit (description above) $20 value
- The Summer Occupational Therapy Pack– Spot it game, slide decks, pencil control strips, writing prompts, play dough mats, and more. Value $20
- Summer Memory Game value $2
- Summer Writing Lists value $5
- Outdoor Sensory Diet Cards and Challenges value $8
- BONUS Summer Sensory Activities Guide value $8
The ideas listed above should help you create therapy home programs, and keep the kids loaded up on creative, open-ended, and movement-based PLAY that their little bodies NEED!
Want to take summer play to the next level? Be sure to grab your copy of the Summer OT Activities Bundle!
Use these Fine Motor Kits for hands-on activity kits to develop fine motor skills, strength, dexterity, and manipulation. Kids LOVE these fine motor kits for the motivating activities. Therapists love them because it’s fresh, fun ways to work on pinch, grip, manipulation skills, and much more. Try some of these themed therapy kits: