By: Esther Han OTR/L, Meghan Matusiak OTR/L, & Sara Sciarrino OTR/L

Before we know it, the school year will be coming to an end. Throughout the academic year, children become accustomed to routines, structures of the school day, and very specific schedules from when they wake up to bedtime.

Just as transitioning and becoming accustomed to the beginning of the school year may have been difficult, the beginning of summer may bring its own set of challenges. Here are some tips and ideas for a smooth transition and to make the most of your summer:

Play Outside

One of the best things about summer is the ability to have multisensory experiences in a natural context. Here is a list of some fun activities to break up the day that also provides dynamic sensory input.

  • Go to the beach
  • Go to playground
  • Water play (sprinklers, water balloons, mini pool, etc.)
  • Outdoor obstacle courses
  • Swimming
  • Plan play dates

Create A Daily Schedule

With school being out, days may become unpredictable. However, this doesn’t mean you have to give up some important routines that you have incorporated throughout the school year.

Morning and bedtime routines can be easily adjusted to fit your summer schedule, but maintaining those routines every day will aid a smoother transition out of school as well as when it comes time to transition back to school.

In addition to maintaining routines, creating a daily/weekly schedule with your child helps provide grounding and develops organization skills. A great way to help kids predict what the day will hold is to make a visual schedule.

Grab some small dry-erase boards and place them around the house, such as in the bathroom, on the back of a bedroom door, in the kitchen, and in the playroom. Use them to show what kids need to do before breakfast, right after dinner, or before bedtime. It keeps them on schedule without feeling overwhelmed.

Organize Activities to Continue Skill Development

Looking for ideas for fun activities to incorporate into your everyday routines? Check out our previous blogs on bilateral coordination, fine/gross motor, and sensory play.

If you would like some more ideas or want to hear how an occupational therapist can help your child, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us or leave a comment below. Just remember, the summer is a time for fun in the sun, relaxation, and play, but that doesn’t have to mean the routines stop!