Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

October 10, 2016

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


Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Midtown office of Child and Family Development, 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 October, she shares:

Tis the season for raking leaves, pumpkin spiced foods and drinks, and a little bit of spooky d√©cor. Will you be carving pumpkins this year? What about visiting a farm? We will be partaking in our share of fall activities including a trip to the farm to visit animals and pick out pumpkins.  I love that this time of year can pack in such great OT work! Check out the following ideas:

Carving pumpkins:

  • Tactile play with touching the gooey inside, sorting out the seeds to bake
  • Visual motor and fine motor coordination for drawing a face for making a jack-o-lantern
  • Finger play with some fun Halloween songs

Farm visits:

  • Heavy work for pulling/carrying pumpkins
  • Tactile input when petting and feeding animals
  • There‚Äôs even some proprioceptive input if you ride in a bumpy wagon


  • Have a great recipe that incorporates pumpkin? Baking is a great way to practice following multi-step directions.

Costume Preparations:

  • Find a picture of the character your child would like to dress up as for Halloween. Listen to what their ideas are for creating the costume. Ideating plans is a great skill to practice!