Tuesday, August 12, 2014

OT at Home Activity Jar

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J is a sensory seeker. He needs to be active and constantly seeks activities that involve swinging, spinning, and jumping. With him starting kindergarten next month, I know that he may have a hard time staying focused for a full day unless he gets the appropriate stimulation. So I have decided to start doing some occupational therapy with him at home as part of his morning routine. I put together this occupational therapy at home activity jar, focusing on gross motor, heavy work, and vestibular activities. It's perfect for all kids, but especially those with autism and/or sensory processing issues.

OT at Home Activity Jar - ideas for doing occupational therapy at home from And Next Comes L

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How to Make an Occupational Therapy at Home Activity Jar for Kids

To make the activity jar, I used:

It's pretty straightforward to make. Simply write one activity on each craft stick, put them in a jar, and voila! Done!

OT at Home Activity Jar - ideas for doing occupational therapy at home from And Next Comes L

Gross Motor Vestibular & Proprioceptive Sensory Activities for Kids

As for the activities, here is what is included in our jar:

  • Obstacle course
  • Play catch
  • Climb the slide
  • Bean bag toss
  • Jump on mini trampoline
  • Swinging - We have a variety of swings indoors and outdoors, including our DIY sensory swing and homemade taco sensory swing.
  • Ride balance bike - We have this one, but in a different design.
  • Spin on the office chair - J can spin and never get dizzy so we often find him doing this activity on his own.
  • Animal walks - Crawl like a crab, slither on the ground like a snack, etc.
  • Hopper ball
  • Balance board - We just put a piece of scrap wood on a pool noodle. It works great!
  • Wheelbarrow walk - I hold their ankles and they have to walk using their hands.
  • Parachute - Remember our homemade play parachute?
  • Pillow sandwich - The boys lay on their back. Then I put a large pillow on their body (it never covers their face) and then I lay on top of it.
  • Yoga
  • Sit on exercise ball
  • Big ball roll - The boys lay on their back. Then I roll a large exercise ball on their body, starting at their ankles and rolling up to their shoulders.
  • Sensory tunnel - I made my own (tutorial here). There are many, many, many activities that can be done with it!
  • Play with our homemade stretchy resistance bands
  • Jump and crash into our DIY no sew crash mat
So when it's time to do OT, the boys each pick a stick or two from the jar for us to try. Of course, you can modify your jar to include anything you want, fine motor, gross motor, vestibular, etc.

OT at Home Activity Jar - ideas for doing occupational therapy at home from And Next Comes L
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  1. This is a fabulous idea! I also have a sensory seeker, and I think I will be making a jar today! Pinning too!

    1. Sounds great, Carla! Thanks for pinning.

  2. Love it! Thanks for a list of great ideas to try. Planning to make our own jar to use in homeschool break time.

    1. They would be wonderful body break ideas for homeschool. Good thinking!

  3. Love this idea and our creative activities! Sharing today.

  4. We have this at our house and use it ALL the time!

    1. That's awesome, Cassie! What activities do you have in your jar?

  5. How long do you do this before school each day? I need to do this with my son. Thanks in advance for your help!

    1. It really depends on how much time we have to spare, but we usually get 8-10 minutes in before we have to leave. Mind you, his school starts at 8:40 AM so if it started at 9 like most schools, then we could easily get in 20-30 minutes.