Summer Sensory Stations

Summer sensory activities

Today’s sensory resource is a self-regulation tool that is very popular among therapy professionals and educators: an all-new Summer Sensory Stations set! This set of printable sensory path activities are nice because they can be printed off, laminated (or placed in a page protector sleeve), and hung in a hallway. We’ve received so much great feedback about out other seasonal sensory stations that this summer version was a must! Add this resource to your Summer occupational therapy activities.

You’ll want to check out the other sensory station printables at the bottom of this post.

Free summer sensory stations for a DIY sensory path or self-regulation tool with a summer theme.

Summer Sensory Stations

A DIY sensory path can include a few quick stops to add deep breathing, mindfulness, proprioception, vestibular input, eye-hand coordination, crossing midline, and whole-body movement.

And that’s just what this set of summer themed sensory stations includes!

The movement-based stops offer users to take a break at various stations and integrate movement, coordination, and visual input with deep breathing, and heavy work.

What a great way to add a quick brain break between activities or to get ready for a therapy session!

In this summer themed set of activities, you’ll find a printable page for each “station” or stop along the sensory path:

Bee path infinity loop-

The first page in the summer sensory path kit is a bee infinity loop, which is great for mindfulness, deep breathing, crossing midline, eye-hand coordination.

Tracing the infinity loop offers an opportunity for mindfulness through the summer bees’ paths as they move along the loop. This creative way to foster visual attention, self-regulation, self-awareness, coping skills, and concentration is fun for summer! By tracing the loop, hand-eye coordination and mindfulness allow the user to be more present in the moment, and more aware of themselves.

Some users may stand on an uneven surface while doing this activity to challenge balance and visual skills. Think about adding a gymnastics mat, slant board, balance pod, or other uneven standing surface.

Others may want to kneel or do a lunge while completing this activity to further challenge balance and coordination skills. The nice thing about the printable sensory station is that it can be raised or lowered on the wall easily.

Leap like a dolphin-

The next page in the sensory paths for summer is a “leap like a dolphin” activity. It’s a powerful activity for vestibular input, motor planning, and proprioceptive heavy work

Proprioception offers a way to “wake up” the joints and muscles in the body. This leaping activity can be done from a standing, kneeling, or from the floor. Proprioceptive input from the muscles and joints provides information about body position, weight, pressure, stretch, movement and changes in position in space, so this leaping activity adds a summer theme!

Beach ball wall push-up-

Next in the Summer Sensory Stations kit is a beach ball wall push up page. Add whole body proprioceptive input through the upper extremity: shoulder girdle, elbows, wrists, and arches of the hands. Plus wall push ups are a great strength and stability exercise for the core.

You can modify this activity to place it lower on the wall for a lunge position, or even can do the wall push-ups from a seated position to challenge seated balance. This is a great motor and sensory opportunity for wheelchair users.

Seashell trace and breathe printable-

Users love our spiral path deep breathing exercises. There is so much heavy work benefit to filling and emptying the lungs as a self-regulation strategy.

Follow the circular path from the crab to the seashell while breathing in. Then follow the path again to breathe out. This visual offers a deep breathing exercise for filling and emptying the entire lungs, which is a great interoception and proprioception exercise for mindfulness and self-regulation.

Summer Sand Squats-

Finally, the last page in the Summer Sensory Stations printable is a summer-themed squat exercise.

Users can do a certain number of repetition of squats along with the visual for a balance activity and coordination exercise. This visual is left open-ended but you could challenge users to pick up an object from the floor for more balance opportunities, or you could ask them to move their hands or keep their vision on an object for visual attention, etc.

How to Use these Summer Sensory Stations

Using these Summer sensory path stations is simple:

  • Print off the pages.
  • Laminate them or slide them into a page protector sleeve. This way the sheets can easily be cleaned with a spritz of cleanser or disinfectant spray.
  • Hang the pages in a hallway to create a DIY sensory path. Or, hang them in a corner of a room to make a sensory calm down corner.

You can use these stations as a brain break, a scheduled sensory diet activity, a calm-down activity, or a transition activity for routine sensory input. The stations are great because they can be used with all individuals, making them perfect for a groups of children at a sensory summer camp (or any type of summer camp!) or meeting individual needs during therapy sessions.

Want these Printable sensory Stations?

Enter your email address into the form below. You’ll receive an email containing the PDF file. This resource is also available in our Member’s Club, where members can head to the dashboard and click a download button to immediately access the printable along with hundreds of other resources…no need to enter your email address!

Want to add this resource to your therapy toolbox so you can help kids thrive? Enter your email into the form below to access this printable tool.

This resource is just one of the many tools available in The OT Toolbox Member’s Club. Each month, members get instant access to downloadable activities, handouts, worksheets, and printable tools to support development. Members can log into their dashboard and access all of our free downloads in one place. Plus, you’ll find exclusive materials and premium level materials.

Level 1 members gain instant access to all of the downloads available on the site, without enter your email each time PLUS exclusive new resources each month.

Level 2 members get access to all of our downloads, exclusive new resources each month, PLUS additional, premium content each month: therapy kits, screening tools, games, therapy packets, and much more. AND, level 2 members get ad-free content across the entire OT Toolbox website.

Join the Member’s Club today!

Free Summer Sensory Stations

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    Looking for more Sensory Stations?

    Check out these other themed sensory station printables:

    Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20+ years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

    ABC’s of Summer Learning

    ABCs of summer

    Summer is a time to relax and have fun, but with a little thought, play can inspire learning! We created this ABCs of Summer list of summer alphabet activities years ago, but it is still a fun resource! Go through the activities week by week, or use switch to a new letter every few days. The best thing about this list of A-Z summer activities is that it’s very open-ended! Pick the ones that work for you!

    ABCs of summer activities for kids

    ABCs of Summer

    This list of a-z summer activities was inspired when our kids were preschoolers. We wanted to pull together a list of fun alphabet themed play ideas that could be a Summer Bucket List of sorts.

    With the end of summer looming and back-to-school fall schedules not so far off, we thought it would be fun to present an A to Z list of fun, creative, and educational play and learning activities. 

    That’s where this summer alphabet comes into play!

    There are so many reasons why messy, sensory play supports development and learning. Not only are kids learning the alphabet, they are developing skills in other areas, too:

    • Learning the letters of the alphabet
    • Fine motor skill development
    • Visual motor skills
    • Gross motor skills
    • Sensory input for self-regulation
    • Handwriting or pre-writing skills
    • Eye-hand coordination
    • Confidence
    • Body awareness
    • Connection with others
    • Attention and focus
    • Executive functioning skills

    We wanted to pull together a list from around the web and share playful and fun activities to make the most of summer before those fall schedules start up again.  Now is the time to make a few memories.  

    Kids learn through play so the best learning comes through playful activities.  Let’s wrap up the summer with a full alphabet of fun.   Here we have it…the ABCs of Summer Learning! 

    ABCs of summer for kids

    How to Do ABCs of Summer

     These ideas can be done all throughout the summer, but it’s very open-ended.

    You can look through the list and pick and choose a few activities to extend out the dog days of summer. 

    Motor Skills- Encourage movement. You can use our alphabet exercises to get started with ideas. Pick a letter, do the letter exercise, and then do an activity or two based on that letter. Then repeat in a few days with a different letter.

    Sensory-Based- The alphabet summer ideas listed below are mainly sensory-based play, meaning that they involve texture exploration, messy play, and getting the hands and body involved in the play. This is designed to inspire learning! Consider making an alphabet sensory bottle to start off your summer ABC theme. Shake up the bottle, find a letter, and do the activities associated with that letter until you complete the whole alphabet. You could select a random letter or you could look for a specific letter. It’s up to you!

    Incorporate Handwriting– For children in kindergarten and above, adding in writing practice is a good idea. Use these letter formation strategies for practicing each letter…also grounded in movement and sensory experiences to promote motor memory of letter formation. For children in preschool, addressing pre-writing skills over letter formation is recommended, based on development. Simply go through the abcs of summer based on the lines used in letters. Our recourse on letter formation covers recommended progression of letters based on development and lines. Older kids can even just write some of the words that start with that letter, for additional practice with copying words, writing on lines, and spacing.

    Writing Trays- Speaking of writing practice, there is more than one way to practice forming letters or the lines that make up letters. Use one of our many writing trays for handwriting as an added way to incorporate motor and sensory movements to form individual letters or pre-writing skills associated with the letters. (lines, diagonals, shapes, line changes, etc.)

    One final tip: Summer is meant to be a time to slow down on the schedules, lists, educational tips and pointers…and  a time for the kids to just have fun being kids.  So be sure to make this FUN and a way to connect through play.

    With these tips in mind, let’s get started on the ABCs of Summer!

    Summer Words that Start with A:

    Summer Words that Start with B

    Summer Words that Start with C

    Summer Words that Start with D

    Summer Words that Start with E

    Summer Words that Start with F

    Summer Words that Start with G

    Summer Words that Start with H

    Summer Words that Start with I

    Summer Words that Start with J

    Summer Words that Start with K

    Summer Words that Start with L

    Summer Words that Start with M

    Summer Words that Start with N

    Summer Words that Start with O

    Summer Words that Start with P

    Summer Words that Start with Q

    • Sort and Manipulate Quarters 
    • Play the Quiet Game
    • Make a fort with a Quilt
    •                                  

    Summer Words that Start with R

    Summer Words that Start with S

    Summer Words that Start with T

    Summer Words that Start with U

    • Plan an Under The Sea Party
    • Use an Umbrella in the rain or sun
    • Help Unload the dishwasher
    • Blow bubbles with a straw underwater

    Summer Words that Start with V

    Summer Words that Start with W

    Summer Words that Start with X

    Summer Words that Start with Y

    • Go for a walk and Look For Yellow
    • Name the months in the Year   
    • Play in the yard
    • Visit a yard sale

    Summer Words that Start with Z

    What are your favorite summer activities?

    Summer Occupational Therapy Activities

    Summer occupational therapy activities

    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!

    Occupational therapists can use these summer occupational therapy activities when planning OT home programs for for summer programs.

    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 Ideas

    Occupational therapy practitioners often use movement and sensory experiences in therapy sessions to challenge motor planning, motor skill development, and incorporate sensory motor activity through the primary occupation of childhood: PLAY.

    Because of this, sensory motor rich activity is recommended as supplemental and everyday activity for kids of all ages to support development of skill growth. Many of the OT activity ideas listed below also support executive functioning skills, problem solving, and other cognitive aspects of functional tasks.

    Try adding these OT activities to your summer bucket list:

    • Make our 3 ingredient kinetic sand– Making kinetic sand offers heavy work through the hands as a self-regulation tool and offers a tactile sensory experience.
    • Make a kite craft to develop fine motor skills, visual motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and scissor skills.
    • Play TV tag (or one of these tag games)- Tag is a great gross motor activity to develop endurance, motor planning, coordination, balance, and visual motor skills while adding proprioceptive and vestibular input to regulate the system.
    • Make an ice cream craft to support hand strength and fine motor skills. This craft is great for developing scissor skills too.
    • Play sidewalk hopscotch– Use sidewalk chalk to draw a hopscotch board. Then play using rocks or bean bags. Hopscotch is a great tool to add heavy work, vestibular and proprioceptive input, and to challenge motor planning, balance, and other gross motor skills. Hopscotch is a way to teach skipping skills, too.
    • Paint rocks- This sensory experience challenges tactile input and offers a fine motor activity. Use finger paints or a paint brush to incorporate tool use and more fine motor work.
    • Wheelbarrow walk– This exercise is a heavy work exercise that helps kids with motor planning, movement, and endurance through play while adding heavy work. Use wheelbarrow walks in relay races or in obstacle courses.
    • Make a flower craft– Go on a nature walk as a motor and sensory experience. Then use the nature hunt findings to make a fine motor flower craft. There will be no two crafts alike with this fine motor activity.
    • Plant seeds- There are so many sensory benefits to gardening. Read more about sensory gardening with kids.
    • Wrap sticks in string- This simple activity is big on bilateral coordination, fine motor skills, precision, eye-hand coordination, and executive functioning skills. Go out in the yard and gather some small twigs. Then, tie a knot with the string and wrap around the stick. Switch out colors to make colorful designs and patterns. Can you cross different colored strings or yarn together to make a pretty wrapped stick? You can see how we wrapped craft sticks in string here.
    • Make lemonade- Making food with kids is a huge fine motor, sensory motor, and executive functioning tool to develop many skills with kids of all ages. Check out our cooking with kids page for tons more cooking ideas and recipes for kids as well as why each recipe supports development of skills.
    • Make a bug catcher– This fine motor activity is a huge hit with kids, and you can use the materials you have on hand. Just raid the recycle bin or grab some boxes and containers before they go into the trash can. Then, head outside to catch some bugs. This is a challenging activity that supports fine motor, visual motor, and sensory development.
    • Visit a playground- Playing at the playground has many sensory integration benefits and there are so many ways to use regular playground equipment to develop motor and sensory skill sin kids. If self-regulation is a challenge, then the playground is a wonderful summer haven for supporting specific needs.
    • Play tug of war- This heavy work game offers strengthening, balance, motor planning, and proprioceptive input that can be calming to support self-regulation needs.
    • Play in the sprinkler- A hallmark of hot summer days is playing in the hose or sprinkler. Children can practice putting on their swimming suit, applying sunscreen, and work on hopping, jumping, skipping, and moving through the sprinkler. And, don’t forget about involving the child in setting up and removing the sprinkler and hose, too. Pulling a hose is an opportunity for proprioceptive input that can be very calming.
    • Pick flowers- Go on a sensory nature walk with the family along a trail or in a park. Picking flowers supports development of visual perceptual skills, working memory, visual processing, fine motor, and self-regulation skills. Getting outside in nature can be a great overall activity that supports development and is a reset for the whole family.
    • Make lunch for your family- Develop fine motor skills, sensory experiences, executive functioning skills, and functional participation development by making lunch or dinner. Here are all of our cooking with kids recipes where you’ll find specific recipe ideas that support development, all from the perspective of an occupational therapist.
    • Chalk line obstacle course- Work on balance, motor planning, gross motor skill coordination through play using sidewalk chalk to create a driveway obstacle course. Can you hop on lily pads, tiptoe along a bridge, and animal walk on a wavy line?
    • Make DIY musical instruments- Making musical instruments are a fun way to build fine motor skills and address auditory processing skills too. Ideas include:
    • Climb a tree- Climbing on trees and limbs are a wonderful way to offer proprioceptive input, vestibular input, visual processing skills with depth perception, visual scanning, and eye-hand coordination. Holding on to a branch, pulling oneself up and over limbs, crossing midline, and bilateral coordination are developed through play. When finished, this is a powerful confidence booster!
    • Write a letter to a friend- (or a post card or email!)- Work on letter formation and other handwriting skills by writing a short letter or card to a friend this summer. It’s a very functional handwriting task that kids will be proud of!
    • Make a fairy garden- Use materials found around the home to support development of fine motor skills. The pretend play is a fun way to develop social emotional skills, too.
    • Wash the car (or a bike)- Support gross motor development by using a sponge, soapy water, and the hose to add proprioceptive input.
    • Watch and draw birds- Look for birds outdoors, in the yard, or from the windows. Address visual scanning, working memory, and pencil skills.
    • Go on a rainbow nature hunt- Use a piece of contact paper and find items of different colors of the rainbow to make a rainbow nature hunt craft. This is a great activity for fine motor, visual processing, and heavy work input.
    • Trace a friend with chalk on a driveway or sidewalk- Use sidewalk chalk to trace a friend on the driveway or sidewalk. This is a great activity to develop fine motor skills, and can support development of interoception by drawing internal organs and talking about how the body works inside and out!
    • Make bubble wands with pipe cleaners- use pipe cleaners and beads to develop fine motor skills to make a bubble wand. Then support oral motor skill development by blowing bubbles.
    • Play Red Rover- Lawn games like red Rover develop gross motor skills, visual motor skills, and executive functioning as well as adding proprioceptive and vestibular input.
    • Write the alphabet with chalk- Writing letters with sidewalk chalk supports the motor plan to create each letter and offers great proprioceptive feedback through kinesthetic learning. Writing letters with chalk or names and words can be a fun summer activity. Then spray the letters and words off with the hose or a spray bottle for more motor skill development!
    • Find shapes and images in the clouds- Look up to work on visual canning, memory, attention, and visual motor skill by finding shapes and outlines in the clouds.
    • Bake cookies
    • FInger paints
    • Fly a kite
    • Splash pad or water park
    • Write in a journal
    • Call a friend
    • Start a kickball game
    • Make leaf rubbings
    • Play hide and seek
    • Catch fireflies
    • Tie dye
    • Play cards
    • Build a fort
    • Have a sleepover
    • Play with glow bracelets at night in the yard
    • Read a book outside
    • Have a family game night
    • Draw self-portraits
    • Walk a pet

    Need even more summer ideas?

    ~Add these hula hoop activities to therapy sessions.

    ~Use sidewalk chalk to support fine motor skills.

    ~ 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.

    ~ Sneak in handwriting practice while traveling with these motivating and authentic ideas. HERE are a few MORE natural writing experiences for summer that keep those pencils moving.

    ~ 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.

    ~ Use sidewalk chalk to boost fine motor skills.  

    ~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.

    One tool to support Summer OT home programs, OT tutoring sessions, or occupational therapy summer camps is our 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!

    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 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!

    Use these summer occupational therapy activities when planning sensory activities, fine motor, and gross motor developmental ideas for kids.

    Want to take summer play to the next level? Be sure to grab your copy of the Summer OT Activities Bundle!

    Summer activities for kids

    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:

    June Occupational Therapy Calendar

    June activity calendar for occupational therapy

    If you are looking for Summer occupational therapy activities, this June occupational therapy calendar is for you! It’s loaded with June calendar ideas to help kids move, develop skills, and play this summer. Having a calendar for therapy activities ready to go is important to beat the summer slide when it comes to helping kids move with therapist-approved activities. Use this printable June calendar in occupational therapy home programs, summer lesson plans, and OT summer sessions! You’ll find more summer occupational therapy ideas on various places on the website.

    To get you started, also try this resource on summer occupational therapy crafts and this printable 100 things to do this summer.

    Both can be printed and used along with this free June activity calendar to support kids’ OT needs this year.

    June calendar ideas for occupational therapy and play at home during the summer.

    June Occupational Therapy Calendar

    We’re plugging along as the end of this school year arrives and the start of summer is right around the corner.  Are you ready for a summer with the kids?  
     
    It can be hard to stay on track with Occupational Therapy goals during the carefree days of summer.  This month, with the June activity calendar, I wanted to bring you easy ways to keep up on therapy goals.  
     
    There is nothing better than the whole family getting involved with a game or an outing. Family time is memory-making time and so this month’s  Occupational Therapy calendar is focused around family activities. 
     

    June Activities

     
    This Family wellness BINGO game is another tool to support overall family needs and can be a great addition to summer activities.
     
    The June OT calendar includes activities such as: 

    The June calendar ideas include other activities at the bottom of the page to support a variety of needs. These ideas can be used to replace activities on the calendar, if needed. 

    All of the June activities support a variety of developmental areas. We’ve selected the activity ideas based on development of skills through play and movement.

    Some of the developmental areas addressed in these June activities include:

    • Sensory processing
    • Visual processing
    • Executive functioning skills
    • Direction following
    • Motor skill development (fine motor and gross motor)

    Each June activity on the OT calendar targets sensory motor areas:

    • Tactile input
    • Proprioception
    • Vestibular input
    • Visual input

    Some activities are guided by olfactory, auditory, and gustatory input. 

    We’ve selected these June activities to support areas of functioning such as:

    1. Handwriting
    2. Scissor skills
    3. Self-care
    4. Cooking (following recipes)
    5. Game play
    6. Exploring the community

    More June Activities

    Exploring all that summer allows is a great way to develop skills during the Summer months. However, if you need a strategy, we’ve created a few resources for just this need.
     
    In fact, I’ve created a whole summer of OT activities that the get the family involved!  These are sensory-based treatment activities that build on skills that may make up your child’s Occupational Therapy goals.  The nice thing about these activities is that you can adjust the activity to meet individual goals. 
     

    You’ll be interested in 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!

    Grab the Spring Occupational Therapy Activities Packet HERE.

    summer occupational therapy activities for kids
     
    June Occupational Therapy calendar of activities for the family
     
     
     

    Want to take summer play to the next level? Be sure to grab your copy of the Summer OT Activities Bundle!

     
    Summer activities for kids

    Free June Activity Calendar

    Want to print off this calendar and add it to home programs or use it in therapy planning this summer? Enter your email address into the form below.

    Want to add this resource to your therapy toolbox so you can help kids thrive? Enter your email into the form below to access this printable tool.

    This resource is just one of the many tools available in The OT Toolbox Member’s Club. Each month, members get instant access to downloadable activities, handouts, worksheets, and printable tools to support development. Members can log into their dashboard and access all of our free downloads in one place. Plus, you’ll find exclusive materials and premium level materials.

    Level 1 members gain instant access to all of the downloads available on the site, without enter your email each time PLUS exclusive new resources each month.

    Level 2 members get access to all of our downloads, exclusive new resources each month, PLUS additional, premium content each month: therapy kits, screening tools, games, therapy packets, and much more. AND, level 2 members get ad-free content across the entire OT Toolbox website.

    Join the Member’s Club today!

    FREE JUNE Activity Calendar

      We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

      Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20+ years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

      Sensory Handwriting Backyard Summer Camp

      handwriting camp

      Have you ever thought about running a handwriting tutor session or a Summer handwriting camp? A handwriting camp is a great way to support the Summer slide when it comes to handwriting skills, or work on a few handwriting activities in fun and engaging ways over the summer months.

      Summer Handwriting Camp Ideas

      Summer is a time of relaxation, lazy play, and freedom for kids.  It can be a time of sliding backward in skills like handwriting, too.  While it’s important to remain free of schedules over the summer and allow kids to just be kids, there can be a need for some kids to maintain skills to prevent a loss of skills.  These sensory handwriting activities are a fun way to incorporate the senses into handwriting practice, in a fun way.  I’ve created sensory-based handwriting activities that can be used to create a DIY backyard summer camp at home.



      Use these ideas to work on handwriting skills through the senses!

      sensory summer camp at home idea for handwriting summer camp for kids using all of the senses to prevent the summer slide.

      You’ll also be interested in 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!

      Grab the Summer Occupational Therapy Activities Packet HERE.

      summer occupational therapy activities for kids

      Tips to be a Handwriting Tutor

      This post contains affiliate links.

      Before beginning handwriting tutoring sessions, or a handwriting camp, you’ll want to create a few pieces of paperwork. Important papers such as disclaimers, waivers, and intake information can cover a few important issues as a handwriting tutor, handwriting coach, or handwriting camp. 

      1. Identify if you are using your therapy license or not? This is an important item to cover from the very start. Identify the scope of the handwriting tutoring sessions or camp sessions. If they are going to be considered under the scope of occupational therapy, there are certain considerations to be addressed. These are not to be considered therapy, unless you are actually doing an occupational therapy evaluation and creating a specific course of treatment. In these cases, fees for therapy or insurance can be collected, and you would operate under your license. Occupational therapy assistants would need to work under supervision of an occupational therapist. If the sessions would be operating without evaluation, assessment, and individualized interventions, then the scope of the sessions can occur under general tutoring or camp activities. In both situations, a disclaimer explaining these specifics should be created (next item).
      2. Disclaimer- Create a disclaimer that covers the scope of the tutoring or camp sessions.
      3. What will you cover in tutoring/handwriting camp? Identify the scope of tutoring content or handwriting summer camp content. Are you going to be covering letter formation? Simply handwriting practice? The importance of cursive writing? Cursive letter formation? Copying skills? Functional handwriting? Pencil grasp? Fine motor skills? Free writing?
      4. Waiver- Create a waiver that covers liability and removes yourself from any liability issues as a tutor or camp creator. There are many waiver and liability templates available, or you can reach out to a local attorney.
      5. Intake paperwork- Create paperwork for collecting information from parents. This should include name, contact information, special considerations such as allergies, emergency contact information, etc.
      6. Handwriting Camp Plans- Create a plan for handwriting tutoring or handwriting camp sessions. See below for ideas for each handwriting camp session.
      7. Collect money- Determine how you will be collect money to paid for tutoring sessions. A great tool that I have used in the past is SendOwl. You can create an account and create a “product” that is listed as a service. For an average of $20/month, you can have a way to collect income, sales pages, and market to your list month after month.

      Handwriting tutoring or Handwriting Camp Plans

      After you’ve created the logistics of the camp or tutoring session, it’s important to come up with a plan for general tutoring or camp sessions. You can create a plan for the entire camp that covers several weeks so that you’ve got ideas Try these tips to keep handwriting summer camps fun and stress-free.

      1. Identify what will be covered in the handwriting camp/handwriting tutoring.

      Start by identifying what you’ll be covering in tutoring sessions or handwriting camp sessions. These are general topics and can be used with any student no matter the level (this is important if you are not going to be doing an evaluation and treatment plan and operating under your license).

      Some topics for handwriting camps and handwriting tutoring sessions can include:

      You can also consider a theme for the camp or handwriting sessions. Some ideas include an outer space camp theme or a circus summer camp theme.

      2. Next come up with a schedule for handwriting camp sessions or handwriting tutoring:

      Start off sessions with movement, play, and activities that build skills through play. Below are some ideas for the schedule of a tutoring or handwriting camp session:

      • Use lots of movement breaks and brain break activities.  Try to keep written work tasks as movement oriented as possible. 
      • Start each mini-session with gross motor activities: crab walks, jumping jacks, heavy work, or vestibular games.
      • Move on to fine motor movement activities, incorporating proprioception, and dexterity tasks.
      • Proceed to handwriting activities, keeping them as fun and activity-based as possible.  Incorporate several of the senses into written work, allowing the children to involve as many senses as possible in each mini-session. Limit written work activities to 15-20 minutes. You can use our free Handwriting printables and resources available on the website. See all of our Free Handwriting Resources HERE
      • Encourage 10 minutes of journal writing or letter writing.
      • Use these Summer Writing Lists for quick list writing that build handwriting skills
      • Finish with movement activities, using whole-body games like playing catch, batting a balloon, jumping rope, or kicking a ball. 
      sensory summer camp at home idea for handwriting summer camp for kids using all of the senses to prevent the summer slide.

      Summer Handwriting Camp Ideas



      When it comes to handwriting, the motor sensory systems have a HUGE input in terms of handwriting ability, legibility, and fluency.  

      START HERE for learning more about sensory processing and handwriting; This is everything you need to know about handwriting and sensory concerns.


      I will be the first to admit: There are not too many kids out there who want to work on handwriting during their summer break.  The trick to building or maintaining skills it to make it fun.  Here are a bunch of ideas for motivating kids to write.


      Once you’ve got some ideas to incorporating handwriting into summer days, you can try a few sensory strategies for practicing written work.  Try the handwriting ideas below to making written work fun using the senses.


      Tactile Sensory Handwriting Ideas:

      • Pressing Too Hard When Writing Proprioception Tips is the perfect post if you are looking for tips on writing with too much (or too little) pencil pressure.
      • Fizzy Dough Cursive Letters uses the sense of touch with tactile exploratory input with fizzy, sensory letter formation.
      • Sensory Letter Formation Work on letter formation using dish soap in this tactile and olfactory letter learning and writing activity.
      • Fidget tips and tools can be used for kids who are constantly fidgeting during writing activities.
      • Write in shaving cream on a plastic tablecloth.
      • Practice letters while writing in oobleck.
      • Use mess-free sensory bags.
      • Form letters in a sand tray, salt tray, sugar tray, cornmeal tray, or flour.
      • Write with wet chalk.

      Auditory Sensory Handwriting Ideas:

      • Write in the air letters while singing.
      • Use Encourage singing or humming during written work.
      • Use headphones to block out sounds or to provide background noise.
      • Practice written work from an auditory source.  
      • Take handwriting activities outdoors to the backyard, and notice birds chirping, cars, dogs barking, etc.
      • Minimize auditory distractions for other children.
      • Ask children to repeat the directions.
      • Use visual cues such as index cards with written directions.
      • Handwriting on Foam Craft Sticks and letters and coffee filters use the auditory sense when writing.  Whisper, tell, yell, rhyme, or sing the letters as your child writes them.

      Olfactory Sensory Handwriting Ideas:

      Proprioception Handwriting Ideas:

      • Start with these ideas  for understanding the basics of the proprioception sense and its impact on handwriting.
      • Write on a resistive surface.
      • Form letters with push pins on a lid.
      • Write with chalk on a driveway or rocks.  Try rainbow writing with chalk.
      • Write while laying on a trampoline. TIP: Use a clipboard.
      • Use a therapy ball to sit on, lay on, and write on.
      • Practice letter formation and pencil pressure by lacing a sheet of paper over a foam computer mouse pad. If pressing too hard, the pencil point will poke through the paper. 
      • vibrating pen provides sensory feedback to the fingers and hand and helps to keep children focused on the task. 
      • Practice handwriting by placing a sheet of paper over a piece of sandpaper. The resistance of the sandpaper is great heavy work for small muscles of the hand. 
      • Practice Ghost Writing: Encourage the child to write very lightly on paper and then erase the words without leaving any marks. The adult can try to read the words after they’ve been erased. If the words are not able to be read, the writer wins the game. 
      • This will provide the child with awareness and words for the way they are holding the pencil. 
      • Wrap a bit of play dough or putty around the pencil as a grip. Encourage the child to hold the pencil with a grasp that does not press deeply into the dough. Encourage using a “just right” pressure. 
      • Provide terms for they way they write. Encourage “just right” writing and not “too hard” or “too soft” marks. 
      • Use a lead pencil to color in a small picture, using light gray, medium gray, and dark gray. Talk about how using different amounts of pressure changes the shade of gray. 
      • Practice writing with a pen on thin paper surfaces such as napkins and tissue paper.

      Vestibular Sensory Handwriting Ideas

      • Write while laying in the slide. Try using the slide as a writing surface while the child is lying on their belly.  Try both head towards the top of the slide and head towards the bottom of the slide.
      • Try a wiggle seat cushion such as a balance disc or a wobble chair.
      • Try sitting in a rocking chair, using a clipboard to write on.

      Gustatory Sensory Handwriting Ideas

      • Form letters with taste-safe play dough.
      • Use bread dough to form letters.  Bake and eat.
      • Write in pudding.
      • Try taste-testing handwriting activities:  Try practicing writing while the student is chewing gum, or sucking on hard candy.  Other ideas include: chewing licorice, sour candy, chewy gummy candy, lollipops, or crunchy pretzels.  These types of oral sensory input are organizing. With the children, see if they notice improved concentration and written work output with these types of oral sensations.

      Visual Sensory Handwriting Ideas

      • Write with highlighters.
      • Write with a flashlight in a darkened room.
      • Write with sparklers in the evening. (Use glow sticks for a safer option.)
      • Make a DIY light box.

       Sensory Summer Camp at Home themes

      What do you think?

      Have you thought about running an occupational therapy summer camp or a sensory summer camp? Maybe you’re thinking about targeting clients or just creating a group activity for non-clients as part of summer programming. Let me know if you’ve done any of the activities listed here. And, tell me…What are some awesome occupational therapy summer camp ideas you’ve had or sensory summer camp strategies that you’ve used?

       

      Want to take summer play to the next level? Be sure to grab your copy of the Summer OT Activities Bundle!

      Summer activities for kids

      Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20+ years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

      Sun Visual Perception Activity

      sun visual perception activities

      Working on visual perceptual skills with kids this summer? This sun visual perception activity is a fun way to build skills needed for handwriting and reading! It’s a free therapy slide deck that builds skills like visual discrimination, form constancy, and visual figure-ground.

      Sun visual perception activity and free slide deck

      Sun Visual Perception Activity

      Summertime doesn’t have to mean not working on specific skills that help kids to improve functional hand writing and learning tasks. It also doesn’t mean building visual perceptual skills requires boring worksheets either.

      This free visual perceptual activity has a sun and sunshine theme for summer days.

      The visual perception sun activities include visual discrimination, form constancy, visual attention, and visual memory tasks.

      Kids can work on form constancy as they recognize differences in the various sun images and activities.

      You’ll love adding this these other visual perceptual activities too:

      Sunshine Visual perceptual activities

      There are several visual perceptual activities with the sun theme on the slide decks.

      This is also great if kids are heading off to vacation or taking a break from therapy for a while. They can use the activity as a fun way to work on specific visual perceptual skills.

      Want to access this free therapy slide deck? Enter your email address into the form below and to receive this activity.

      FREE Sun Visual Perception Activity Slide Deck

        We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

        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:

        Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20+ years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

        Mermaid Sandcastle Activity

        mermaid sandcastle

        Do you know kids that love all things mermaids? Or, are you heading to the beach this summer and want to add a sandcastle activity to your skill building? This mermaid sandcastle is going to be a hit this summer! Kids can decorate the mermaid and build a sandcastle in an interactive slide deck for therapy goals!

        Use this mermaid sandcastle activity to work on therapy skills- decorate a mermaid and a sandcastle and then complete the mermaid writing prompts and sandcastle writing prompts.

        Mermaid Sand Castle Activity

        Did you ever see a kiddo or little girl who loves all things mermaids? Using mermaid themes in therapy activities can be a fun way to engage kids in something that interest them like mermaids.

        In this interactive slide deck children can move the pieces to add accessories to create a decorated mermaid.

        This mermaid slide deck is mirrored off of our popular disguise a turkey slide deck from Thanksgiving and our fun decorate a gingerbread house from Christmas time. Both free slide decks were really popular during the pandemic when all therapy was virtual. Just like those interactive slides, this mermaid sandcastle activity allows kids the freedom of expression and creativity to decorate a mermaid and a sandcastle with movable pieces right on the slides.

        This slide deck is a great summer occupational therapy tool to work on several areas.

        Skills like eye hand coordination, visual motor skills, visual memory, visual attention, and visual discrimination can be used to move the different necklaces and crowns for the mermaid.

        On the first slide children can select accessories for the mermaid by clicking and dragging on different accessories. They have to work on mouse control or finger isolation to click and drag.

        Mermaid Writing Prompts

        Next the slides prompt kids to write about what they selected to create their mermaid.

        Depending on the child’s individual goals or needs they can work on hand writing and write out the sentence prompts on paper or they can type right on this the scrub slide deck.

        The slide asks kids about the accessories they used to decorate their mermaid, so the prompts work on using visual memory and working memory skills as part of executive functioning. Children can try to recall the specific details about the accessories that they selected like the color the shape the form and other details.

        This helps with awareness skills and recognition as well as discrimination and visual memory. All of his skills are essential for hand writing when copying materials or writing from memory to form letters and numbers.

        Decorate a sandcastle activity

        Next the slide deck continues with the sea theme with an interactive decorate a Sandcastle slide. On this slide, children can decorate this the Sandcastle using features such as colorful and fun windows, doors, and flags.

        Sandcastle Writing Prompts

        Then the next slide continues with a handwriting or typing prompt and asks about details that they selected for their Sandcastle.

        Children can again work on working memory skills and attention to detail.

        Both of the slide decks both of these slides are fun ways to use a mermaid and sandcastle theme in therapy.

        Free mermaid sandcastle slide deck

        Would you like to add the slide deck to your therapy Toolbox? Enter your email address into the form below to access the slide deck. You will receive an email with a PDF that you can click to cook to connect the slides to your Google Drive. When used in the edit mode the clickable pieces on the interactive slide deck will be movable. Note please consider using a personal email address as school email addresses and work email addresses may block the delivery of this PDF via email.

        FREE Mermaid Sandcastle Slide Deck Activity

          We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

          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:

          Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20+ years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

          Outdoor Sensory Activities: Visual Sensory Processing

          outdoor sensory activities for visual processing

          Getting kids outside is more important in recent months and years than ever before. That’s why I’ve put together a series of blog posts on outdoor sensory activities for visual processing and visual motor strategies to incorporate in outdoor sensory play. You may have seen our Backyard Summer Sensory series that covers all things outdoor sensory activities. You can see the other posts in the series, including backyard oral sensory activitiesoutdoor sensory activities for tactile sense, outdoor proprioception activities, backyard auditory processing activities, and outdoor oral motor sensory activities (yep, that’s possible to address in outdoor play!)

          All of these outdoor sensory diet strategies are powerful ways to help kids thrive.

          Outdoor Sensory Activities for Visual Processing

          Today, I’m sharing visual sensory activities that can be done right in the backyard. The visual sensory system is so closely related to the auditory and vestibular systems and is essential for function and independence in skills like reading, writing, and motor planning, balance, eye-hand coordination, among many other areas.  The visual sensory system is responsible for visual acuity, oculomotor control of the eyes, and processing of what our eyes take in.  When one or more of these areas are a problem, functional skills are affected.

          We’ve been sharing creative and easy sensory-based activities that can be done right in the backyard.  This is perfect for summer (and the series was intended as a backyard summer series!) but each post in the series can totally be adapted for year-round sensory ideas for backyard play.  

          Visual sensory processing activities that can be done in the backyard this summer

          Backyard SENSORY ACTIVITIES for Visual Processing:

          These ideas would be a great addition to all of our summer occupational therapy activities here on The OT Toolbox! 

          • Grass hide scanning- Use grass clippings to fill a large plastic bin.  Tuck small items, coins, or small parts into the bin.  Ask kids to scan the area and locate items with just their eyes.  Kids can try to remember the order that they found the items in a visual memory game.
          • Backyard Toy Memory Game-  Continue to work on visual memory and scanning visual perceptual skills by spreading out small toys into a plot of backyard.  Ask your child to look at the toys and try to remember all of the items.  Cover the toys with a blanket and then remove one or two items.  Remove the blanket and ask your child to recall the missing item.
          • Cloud Scan-  Lay on the ground with your child as you look up at the clouds on a clear but cloudy day.  Watch clouds as they move across the sky.  Ask your child to see images in the clouds shapes.  Ask them to rotate on the ground so that their head is now where their feet just were.  Ask them if they still see the same shape or if it is a new shape. Discovering an outline of a shape in a form uses a visual perceptual skill known as form perception and works along with visual closure and form constancy to allow us to determine that shapes, letters and numbers are the same no matter what their direction.
          • Figure Ground Hunt- Use rocks and letters to practice visual perception with a sensory bin like we did in this activity.
          • Catch a ball.  Try catching while standing, sitting, swinging, rolling a ball, catching between legs, etc.
          • Hit a tennis racket at a target.  Ideas include bubbles, falling leaves, large balls, small rubber balls, and balloons. 
          • Scavenger hunts-try doing these while crawling.
          • Catching butterflies in a net.  Try catching fire flies, too.
          • Visual scanning between targets.
          • Bubble pop- Try popping bubbles with a toe, knee, foot, head, finger, or elbow.
          Visual sensory processing activities that can be done in the backyard this summer

            Looking for more backyard sensory ideas for summer?  

          The Summer Sensory Activity Guide is the place to find everything you need for a summer of sensory input.  Use the sensory activities described in the booklet as a guide to meet the individual needs of your child.  The activities are not a substitute for therapy.  Rather, they are sensory-based summer activities that are designed to address each sensory system through summer play.  Activities are described to involve the whole family.  Check out the Summer Sensory Activity Guide today!

          The guide is included in our Summer OT 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:

          Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20+ years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.