5 Easy Ways to Support Your Child Outside of Their Occupational Therapy Sessions


When you extend your child’s occupational therapy activities at home, you can accelerate their progress. However, doing so doesn’t require the same things they do at therapy. You can have fun while increasing their motor skills, coordination and vocabulary.

What can you do to enhance their learning with fun occupational therapy at-home activities? Here are five easy ways to support your child outside of their occupational therapy sessions.

1. Get in the Kitchen

Who doesn’t love a snack? You can tickle your child’s taste buds while engaging them in fun occupational therapy activities when you get in the kitchen together. You could spend the entire semester working through some of these easy and delicious after-school recipes for kids that you can bake together.

Baking helps your children develop eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. Getting flour from the canister requires your tot to manipulate objects with their fingers, using balance to keep things from tipping and getting messy.

Getting in the kitchen together also engages your child in sensory exploration. They can examine the coolness of the eggs before they crack them into the bowl and play with the sticky dough mixture between their fingers. As your child grows and develops, you can also incorporate basic math lessons into your baking time, having your little one convert tablespoons to teaspoons. 

2. Build a Better Birdhouse

It might surprise you, but your local hardware store can be a glorious resource for occupational therapy activities at home. Many host free workshops for folks of all ages — including toddlers — to help them master various home repair skills. Your kids can improve their eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills while learning to cooperate with people of different ages and backgrounds, enhancing their social abilities.

You could master some skills yourself as you learn alongside your child. Why not consider investing in one of this year’s best birdhouse kits and spend a sunny Saturday constructing the perfect abode for your avian friends? Hang it outside your child’s bedroom window to enjoy watching their creation in use when they lie down for quiet playtime.

3. Take Them to the Park

Your children probably clamor for you to take them to the playground. Doing so is one of the best occupational therapy at-home activities you can engage in, so indulge them.

The playground allows your children to work different muscle groups, improving all-over coordination. Your little one can climb the monkey bars, zip down slides and run and skip to their heart’s content at Cherokee or Iroquois Park.

Additionally, taking your children to the park enhances their social skills. They meet people of all age groups and experiences. You can play an integral role in helping shy children break out of their shells and interact more with their peers. Help your child identify another kid playing alone and coach them on how to approach and ask to play together.

With enough practice, your child will feel more confident initiating play independently. This skill will benefit them in school, helping them form positive peer relationships.

4. Put on a Show 

Reinforcing occupational therapy activities at home entails honing social skills in various situations. What better way to do so than through theater? You and your child can script short plays together where the characters must overcome multiple obstacles, such as dealing with a bully or visiting a new doctor for the first time. 

You don’t have to spend a fortune — or any money — to design your set. Use old cardboard boxes to create your stage. Is it closet-cleaning time? Instead of pitching those old socks in the landfill, use them to make puppets. You can also use Barbies, GI Joe dolls or even discarded toilet paper rolls to create your cast of characters. 

5. Do a Good Deed (or Several)

You might think of volunteering at soup kitchens around the holidays. However, many organizations have all the help they can handle during Thanksgiving and Christmas. People get hungry all year, so think about signing up for a volunteer shift with your child/

Doing so enhances their empathy — a skill you can teach kids. It also reinforces your child’s communication and social skills while giving them a sense of agency. It shows them their actions can create positive changes in their world.

Furthermore, volunteering benefits your child’s psychological health. Performing acts of kindness set off a flood of positive neurotransmitters like serotonin and oxytocin that improve your child’s mood and encourage prosocial behavior. 

You can even use volunteering to replace other fun occupational therapy activities like playing with pets. If your lease doesn’t allow animals, you can still have fun socializing kitties and walking dogs for a local animal shelter. 

Easy Ways to Support Your Child Outside of Their Occupational Therapy Session

Enhancing your child’s in-office work with fun occupational therapy activities at home jumpstarts their progress. There are ways to make it an enjoyable activity, so support your child outside their occupational therapy sessions with these fun at-home activities. You’ll enhance their learning while bonding and having a blast.

Beth is the Managing Editor at Body+Mind. She is passionate about writing about parenting, nutrition, mental health and fitness. In her spare time, Beth enjoys going for runs with her dog and trying out new recipes.


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