Fun in the Sun: Home Exercise Programs During Summer Breaks

Hey there, amazing parents! 🌸 Summer is here, and while it’s a time for sunshine, beach days, and popsicles, it can also be a bit overwhelming if you’re home with your special needs child. Between managing screen time 📱 and keeping the boredom at bay, it can feel like a never-ending struggle. But fear not! We’re here to turn those summer days into fun, engaging, and therapeutic moments for you and your kiddo.

Why Home Exercises Matter 🏠💪

First things first – let’s chat about why doing OT exercises, like reflex integration and primal movement work, at home is so important. Movement programs helps our kiddos develop the skills they need for everyday activities. During the school year, they get lots of structured support, but summer can create a gap. Keeping up with these exercises helps maintain progress and prevents regression. Plus, it’s a chance for you to bond and have some fun together!

Playtime Is the Best Time 🎉

Who says therapy can’t be fun? 🥳 Turn exercises into playtime! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Movement Scavenger Hunt 🌳🔍: Head outside and create a list of items for your child to find. Things like “a red leaf,” “a smooth rock,” or “a feather.” Pick a movement from your child’s treatment plan to do when you find it, then do that movement together. Need some ideas? Check out our RITP App for 100+ exercises.
  2. Obstacle Course Challenge 🏃‍♀️🏅: Set up a backyard obstacle course with things to climb over, crawl under, and jump through. It’s a great way to work on gross motor skills and coordination. Need more ideas? Check out the RITP Memory Game with an easy to manipulate tiles.
  3. DIY Sensory Bins 🦋: Fill a bin with rice, beans, or sand and hide small toys inside. Have your child dig through to find them. It’s perfect for sensory development and fine motor skills.

Get Involved – Be Their Exercise Buddy 🤸‍♀️🤸‍♂️

Kids learn by example, and what better way to motivate them than by doing the exercises yourself? Join in on the obstacle course, get your hands dirty in the sensory bins, or create your own RITP playlist. Not only does this make the activities more enjoyable, but it also shows your child that these exercises are important.

Rewards & Special Experiences 🎁✨

Consistency can be tough, especially during summer when all your child wants is endless screen time. Create a reward system to keep them motivated. Stickers, extra playtime, or special outings can work wonders. How about these ideas?

  • Sticker Chart 🌟: Every time they complete an exercise, they get a sticker. Once the chart is full, reward them with something special.
  • Special Experiences 🌈: Promise a fun outing like a trip to the zoo, a picnic in the park, or a movie night for a week of great participation.

Keep It Light & Fun 🎨

Remember, the goal is to make this a positive experience. Don’t stress if things don’t go perfectly. The key is to integrate these exercises into your daily routine in a way that feels natural and enjoyable. If an activity isn’t working, switch it up! Flexibility is your best friend.

Screen Time & Parental Guilt 😅

We’ve all been there – the guilt of too much screen time. It’s okay to use it in moderation, especially if you need a break. Balance is key. Incorporate a mix of activities throughout the day to keep things fresh and engaging.

Final Thoughts 💖

At the end of the day, you’re doing an incredible job. Balancing summer fun with therapy exercises isn’t easy, but with a little creativity and patience, you can make it a fantastic season for you and your child. So, go ahead, enjoy the sunshine, play, and make some wonderful memories together.

You’ve got this, super parents! 🌟💪🌼

Introducing the RITP App

A Reflex Integration Exercise Reference for Service Providers, Parents, and Teachers

  • Make treatment planning easier with a at-your-finger-tips access to all the RITP exercises.
  • Learn and show kids the exercises from videos.
  • De-stress your day with playlists you can curate for each client and share with them.
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