With many children home from school over the summer, I thought it would be a great idea to give you some summer developmental activity ideas that your kids will love to participate in.
Summer Developmental Activities for Kids
When I was working as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in the public school system, I put together summer home packets for each of my students over the summer. It gave parents ideas specific to their child's needs and goals, as well as just fun ideas to keep them occupied over the summer months.
If your child is seeing an Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist, these activity ideas and suggestions are not to replace the one on one treatment they receive. Therapy inspired ideas for home are not therapy. However, ALL kids can benefit from these suggestions.
All of these activities are designed to be accompanied by an adult. Please do not leave your children alone in doing any of the activities below. I have not included age recommendations and some of the activity ideas include using small pieces. Do not use small pieces when working with children 3 years old and younger that could pose a choking hazard.
I have divided this list into different skills needed for school with suggestions underneath. At the end of the post, there is also a place that you can subscribe to the blog to download all the activities as a nice printable to have on hand.
Gross Motor Activities for Summer
These are just some suggestions, I'm sure you can think of more based on your child's likes and interests. These also double as excellent ideas to improve bilateral coordination skills.
– Wheelbarrow walking
– Crab Walking
– Bear Walking
– Scooter board races
– Laying on their stomachs on the scooter board, therapy ball, or swing
– Shooting baskets
– Playing with yo-yo's
– Jump Rope
– Riding a bike
– Jumping on a trampoline
– Horseback riding
Fine Motor Activities for Summer
– Roll dough with a rolling pin
– Hand clapping games
– Squeeze objects (i.e. glue) with both hands
– Use both arms to twirl streamers or scarves
– Build with building blocks
– Trace patterns on paper
– Draw a picture using stencils
– Tear lettuce into pieces to make a salad
– Spread icing on cookies, cakes, etc.
– Press cookie cutters into dough or putty
– Play with finger puppets
– Play pick-up sticks games
– Screw and unscrew small lids, nuts or bolts
– Fold paper (i.e. origami, airplanes etc)
– Hold a handful of marbles, transferring one at a time into a container
– Draw shapes and write words in a variety of mediums (shaving cream, sand, finger paint, hair gel etc).
– Draw designs on an Etch-A-Sketch board
– Play board games with small pieces to manipulate
– Use fingers to sprinkle toppings on food (sprinkles, shredded cheese).
– Squeeze putty, flour sifter, plastic squeeze bottles
– Squeeze juice from a lemon or orange
– Squeeze a spray bottle (water plants, clean windows)
– Stir batter in a bowl
– Staple papers together with a small stapler
– Use a hole punch to make dots or creative shapes
– Peel stickers off surfaces
– Peel fruit (lemons, oranges etc)
– Turn keys in a lock
– Deal cards
– Use tongs to pick up small objects
– Spin Tops
– Play with wind-up toys
– Tear paper for art projects
– Build with small blocks
– Pick up small objects with fingers and place into containers (beans, cereal, corn kernels)
– Place coins into a bank or small slit in a lid.
– Pop bubbles on bubble wrap
– Use small rubber stamps to create a picture
– String beads to make a necklace
– Pinch clothespins (laundry, games etc)
Visual Motor Activities for Summer
– Copy patterns/pictures using shapes, pegs etc.
– Put together models
– Hidden picture searches
– Word searches
– Put puzzles together
– Use changeable markers to improve tracing skills
– Simulate cutting motions by transferring objects with bubble tongs
– Cut straws into small pieces and string to make a necklace
– Cut play dough/putty/clay
– Cut shapes out of foam
– Cut pictures from magazines or cereal boxes
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