Otavo Blog - Kick the Summer Blues Away.

With these 5 activities that you can do right now.

One thing that we have all learned from the pandemic is that we have a lot more to do in our homes than we previously thought. In our house we have found new activities hiding right under our noses. If you’re looking for fun ways to keep your child moving and learning this summer be sure to check out these ideas that you can try right now.

Found Art

One activity that has given my twins hours of enjoyment is a project we call “found art”. The idea here is that the child will take a pail or bag and walk around outside collecting what they can find. Most of the time it is sticks, leaves, grass, or flowers. On occasion the children find some plastic wrapper or label. Once we have gathered our “found” items. We then sit down and begin gluing them to paper while attempting to make them look like something. One child came up with a face that would bring a smile to Picasso’s face. While another child created an ocean scene by using sticks and leaves to make a sailboat and using leaves torn in half to make dolphins. You will be amazed at what their creative little imaginations will think to make with their backyard finds.

Cooking Up Fun

When it comes to our afternoon snack time, I like to invite the kids over to look at snack recipes with me. Once we find a snack we want to make, I print out the recipe and have the older children help read and measure out the ingredients. Then have the younger children help pour and mix the ingredients. Our last recipe adventure was in making our own granola. I was pleasantly surprised by how simple yet delicious this was. I have since taken to making granola for the family to use as cereal or texture for yogurt. This has also been a huge help in expanding the “sensory diet” that our twins and many other children with autism are known for. (Need some receipe inspiration why not checkout out these great healty snack ideas)

Friendly Shadows

For this activity grab a sheet, some twine or clothespins, and a flashlight. We don’t really have anything good to tie the twine too, but we do have some chairs that we would lay a sheet over and fasten with clothespins. We placed the flashlight on a stack of books and aimed it at the sheet. Then the children would then take turns going behind the sheet and making shapes with their hands or dancing around. One unexpected bonus of this activity was that the twin who previously had a fear of shadows at night-time, began thinking they were funny. After this game he started sleeping through the night without yelling for mom and dad to come save him from the shadows in the night.

Hide and Go Read

This one literally came to us out of a joke. One day my son wanted to play hide and seek but I was unable to as I was working from home. Half joking, I said,

“Quick, a rabbit went and hid in one of your books. You’ve got to find him!”

Then off he runs to his bookshelf. About five minutes later he returns with a book and shows me that he found the bunny. Thus, “Hide and Go Read” was born. We even introduced an element of competition by having more than one child look for the same thing. The twins have even taken to challenging each other to find things in their story books. To encourage more than just looking at the picture books, I will ask questions about what the item they found is doing on that page.

Get Functional

This activity comes in part from necessity. With all the changes that the pandemic brought to our professional and academic worlds. Suddenly we all became not just parents but also tutors and direct service providers. We were suddenly expected to manage everything that normally took an entire team of adults. To help with the day-to-day activities of maintaining the house. We found little ways for the kids to help us get the different house chores done. Plus, there is the bonus of practicing functional living skills. After just a few weeks, the kids were helping us fold laundry, sweeping, bringing dirty clothes to the laundry room and loading them into the washer.

Let’s Get to It

While this pandemic has been stressful and changed many aspects of our daily lives. It has brought about some wonderful opportunities to prove our resilience. We have learned new ways of doing many things in our lives. When your children are home this summer break, try some of these activities. Let us know which ones were your favourites and which ones your little ones enjoyed most. Did they embrace getting functional? Or maybe they helped you find a new family favourite recipe? Did you enjoy the extra help? Or was it nice to have some quiet while they looked for found art supplies?

Don’t forget to check out our sensory products, designed to meet all the sensory needs of your very special loved one.

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