Goodbye, 2020!

Guest Authored By Claire M, OTR/L

2020 is coming to an end! It has been an unpredictable and challenging year for all of us. We have all had to be flexible and patient in ways like never before, and we think that is something to celebrate! This New Year, let’s celebrate our 2020 accomplishments with some fun crafts and activities as well as some ways to support the transition into a new year! 

Crafts and Activities 

  • Paint Fireworks: For a quieter alternative to the classic New Year’s Eve celebration, we can make our own fireworks! All that is needed is a toilet paper roll, scissors, paint, and paper. Snipping the cardboard roll helps our kids work on their hand strength and visual-motor integration. They can get creative with choosing different color combinations, making big and small fireworks, and making patterns with their fireworks designs! 
  • Noise makers: For our kiddos who like to make some noise, we can ring in the new year with a homemade noise maker! For this quick and easy craft, you can use paper or plastic cups, bowls, or toilet paper rolls. Fill a cup with beans, rice, beads, seeds, or any other similar item. Tape another cup on top to hold the beans/rice/beads inside. Use any materials you and your child choose to decorate the outside! Assembling and decorating the noise maker addresses sequencing, executive functioning, and fine motor skills. When you’re finished, try shaking your noise makers to different rhythms, copying each other’s noises, and of course having a dance party to some music! 
  • Countdown chain: This activity can be adapted to count down to any event and helps our kids visualize the passage of time. Every hour or every day leading up to the event, remove a chain link. Cut strips of paper and help your kiddo form loops, linking these loops together with tape. For an extra challenge, write numbers or different activities on each chain link! When the link gets removed, complete the activity! For example, “dance party!” or “do 10 jumping jacks!” This activity gets our kids moving, helps them to anticipate events, and of course, looks festive! 
  • Party planning: To get some practice with planning, executive functioning, and organization, planning a small New Year’s Eve “party” can be a fun and functional way for our kids to celebrate. This can be a real party (via Zoom!) or a pretend play party. Have your child make a list of peopletoys, stuffed animals, etc. to invite! They can create paper invitations to practice handwriting skills, make decorations, and select games and activities to play.  

Supports 

  • Noise: As we know, New Year’s Eve can be LOUD and surprising! We can help our kids stay regulated by using headphones, reminding them that they are safe, showing pictures of fireworks to increase understanding, and preparing them for the loud fireworks noises in the days and hours ahead. 
  • Social stories: A new year often comes with many changes. Using short and simple social stories with clear visuals can help our kiddos better acclimate to any changes that may be coming in the future! Feel free to reach out to your child’s therapist for tips and support on making social stories! 
  • Visual schedule: We use visual schedules with kiddos at Eyas all the time! Visual schedules help our kids prepare for what’s coming next, see their whole day in one picture, and helps them visualize the passage of time. Visual schedules can help with a New Year’s countdown, new school and activity routines in the new yearor any routines and transitions that your kiddo may have. 

We hope you have a safe and joyful 2021! 

Eyas Landing is a therapy clinic with a mission to provide evidence-based and family-centered therapy services for children, adolescents, and their families. The primary goal is to deliver relationship-based interventions within the most natural environments and to empower families to reach their full potential. To achieve this goal, our highly educated, compassionate staff dedicates time and expertise to create experiences that maximize therapeutic outcomes. The strength, determination, and perseverance of our clients are evident as they succeed in therapy, and ultimately in their daily lives.

Eyas Landing offers a wide range of comprehensive services including Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, ABA Therapy, Social Work, Family Therapy, and Neuropsych testing. Services are provided throughout the Chicagoland area via Telehealth, In-Home, and in our state of the art clinic.

Want to learn more or you have a specific question? Feel free to connect with us here!