Katie Haywood, MS, OTR/L, an occupational therapist at the Pineville office of Child and Family Development, recently reviewed an article about summertime and sensory processing issues.
This article by Stephanie Yamkovenko on AOTA Blogs OT Connections offers about 90 ideas from various resources for heavy work activities for kids and teens.
Katie loves this compilation of ideas for heavy work activities and functional chores that can help children organize and appropriately respond to sensory input in their daily environments. She is I especially partial to the gardening suggestions and the idea of getting children outside to play.
Before moving to Charlotte, she worked on a horticulture therapy program for pediatric clients where we did all sorts of fun fine motor and sensory activities outdoors in our raised garden beds. She shares, "One of my favorite ways to start a session with a child who needed heavy work to organize or deep breathing to calm was to water the plants with a pool noodle! We would fill a bucket with water using the hose, and then carry it over to the beds and submerge our pool noodle. I would hold the noodle in a “u” shape to fill it with water, and then let the child blow into one of the holes to shoot the water out over the plants. It was always very motivating and beneficial."
On Katie's recent vacation, she went hiking with a botany professor who was discussing the “No Child Left Inside” Act that was recently reintroduced. While he was excited about the implementation of this act from an environmental literacy standpoint, I was equally excited about it from an OT standpoint! So many senses are addressed in an outdoor environment, many of which are touched on in Sugar Aunts post about a sensory garden!
Katie and the 8 other licensed occupational therapists at Child and Family Development are available to share their expertise. We are in-network with many insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield NC, Cigna, Medcost, North Carolina Medicaid, Primary Physician Care and United Health Care. Our clients also may pay privately and access out-of-network benefits.
Read more about why we all crave heavy work activities in another blog post here.