It is easy for kids to regress in the summer. When they have time for sessions, it is important to work on maintaining the gains which they had during the academic year. Since it is summer, it is the perfect time to use the nice weather and integrate less traditional lesson plans into the mix. Any of the following activities may be used to work on a variety of skills. These include, but are not limited to, social, fine motor, pragmatics, articulation, gross motor, and emotional tasks. Use these options to work on whatever an individual child may need at this point in time.
Painting with water is a simple and mess free activity which only requires a bucket of water and some paint brushes. Take kids outside to s space where there is blacktop or sidewalks. Some suggestions include:
Social and Emotional
Paint how you are feeling. This may be difficult for some kids. Ask them to paint what makes them happy and then try the opposite. Talk through what they paint and why it makes them feel this way.
For kids who are working on fine motor skills, make different cards with prompts for them to paint. This could include shapes which they are working on or more. Talk through the formation of letters and different drawings. Older children will be able to write out words and draw something next to them.
Speech and Language
Practice drawing vocabulary or words that the kids are working on with water. Repeat them as they are being painted and when finished use them in a silly sentence.
Remember that water will evaporate quickly on extremely hot days. This will add a little more of a challenge for some kids to paint fast, but could also add a bit of a twist. If this is too difficult or frustrating for some children, there is another similar activity. Make chalk ice ahead of time. While kids have likely played with chalk, ice chalk may be new to them.
Reading Confetti has seven ways to make chalk ice. You will need to do this before meeting with the kids. The ingredients are cornstarch, water, and food coloring. When this mixture freezes, it bumps up the sensory experience several notches. All of the activities suggested above could also be done with chalk ice during a session.
Families love to try things that their kids do in sessions. Sending home sheets with prompts which focus on what each child is working on. Therapists should include instructions for painting with water and making their own chalk ice. Be sure to include translations for multilingual families to be able to enjoy with their children over the summer.