Occupational Therapy at Home: Summer Strategies

by Ilene Goldkopf and Michelle Tobias

Summer time and the living is easy.... The days are longer, the weather is warmer and the kids are alternatively bored, berserk, and begging for attention. With a little planning, imagination, and a sense of adventure, you will be able to lessen their boredom, channel their energy and behavior and claim some meaningful and fun times for you and your child. As occupational therapists, we view the more relaxed, unhurried atmosphere of the summer months as an ideal time for children to practice emerging skills and master and refine current ones. There are no school buses to catch or homework to do and schedules are less rushed. For special needs children and their parents, all things are magnified, especially delays and time. The hurdles are higher, and take longer to reach. But the rewards, somehow are sweeter when you get there.

So how do you get started? For many special needs children deciding where to start may seem overwhelming. Try to keep it simple, pick 4 skills, with your child‘s input, if possible, to work on for that week or a two week period. Place this list in a prominent spot, where all family members can see it and be reminded of the week‘s work. Including quick sketches or pictures of the activity would be helpful for nonreaders. Try to use a chart or graph (with stickers or stars) to provide a visual display of progress. In addition to this list, use whatever opportunities naturally arise throughout the day, to reinforce other desired skills and behaviors in a non threatening, relaxed, and positive way.

Points to Keep in Mind When Working With Your Child

Activities For Car Trips

(The authors are board-certified occupational therapists with combined experience of over thirty years. They currently service public schools and private clients throughout Central NJ. They are founding partners of Pocket Full of Therapy, Inc., a mail order toy company for children with special needs.)

[Initially published in New Developments: Volume i, Number 1 - Summer, 1995]

All material in this web site is given for information purposes only and is not to be substituted for advice from your health care provider.


5801 Beacon Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15217 | P: 800.497.0944 | F: 412.422.1374

Page last modified: February 23, 2009
©2009 Developmental Delay Resources. All rights reserved.