Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

April 25, 2016

Occupational Therapy: April Around-The-House with Melissa Petcu


Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Midtown office, emphasizes that pediatric occupational therapy is all about “the job of living”. Families can capitalize of events and activities already happening around the house to facilitate development and improve skills. In April, she shares:

“I‚Äôm stuck in the kitchen a lot these days- cleaning bottles, wiping up the baby‚Äôs tray after meal time, making snacks, making dinner‚Ķ. I know I‚Äôm not alone with this.  So often I allow my baby to play in the Tupperware cabinet while I‚Äôm loading the dishwasher (hey it keeps him out of the dishwasher!) or let him bang on pots. So in the spirit of spending so much time in the kitchen and trying to occupy children, I thought I would send out a list of activities that can be completed with kitchen items.


  • String cheerios on a dry spaghetti noodle
  • Make a dry pasta necklace by stringing different shaped pasta on a string
  • Use a baster to fill muffin tin or ice cube tray with colored water
  • Use tweezers to put small pom poms into ice cube tray
  • Put pipe cleaners through holes of a colander
  • Weave ribbon on a kitchen extension rack


  • Use straws to complete games such as blowing a pom poms across the kitchen table or sucking a bingo chip long enough to hold it on the end of the straw and then place in a container


  • Follow a recipe to make home-made play dough or something yummy 
  • Pour water, dry rice and dry beans into different containers
  • Use different kitchen tools such as a masher, dropper, fork or plastic wrap to paint


  • Flip bean bags with a spatula. You could even make the bean bags with dried beans!

An occupational therapist provides practical suggestions for parents and caregivers in a home program.