We’ve all spent countless hours this year on Zoom, FaceTime, and Google Classroom. As thankful as we are for the technology that allows us to keep in touch with loved ones and necessary services during such a challenging time, it sure can get boring and repetitive after a while! The following are a few ideas and resources that both families and therapists alike can use to spice up virtual therapy (or regular hangout) sessions!
Bring the outside indoors: Especially now that it’s colder, it’s getting harder to do the outdoor activities we love so much! But don’t let quarantine or cold weather stop you from doing fun outdoor activities indoors! Go pretend camping, play “I Spy” out the window, make a hopscotch board on the floor with masking tape, play beach ball toss. These activities work on key skills such as motor planning, visual-perceptual skills, problem-solving, and gross motor skills, all while taking a moment to forget that we are cooped up indoors!
Use chance to make things more exciting: Sometimes we get stuck in a routine during therapy sessions; we make a plan and do the same activities in the same order. To make things a little more interesting, try leaving the activities up to chance! Use an online gameboard spinner such as Wheel of Names or a dice roll to choose what activities you will do! Brainstorming new activities is a great exercise to help our kiddos practice coming up with their own ideas, while using a spinner or dice helps work on mental flexibility if the spinner doesn’t land on exactly what we want to play.
Social and collaborative games! Try to limit playing computer games or doing on-screen activities that could be played solo on the iPad. Playing games that require conversation, collaboration, and group problem-solving is a great way to make the session feel more personal and social. It also helps support social interaction skills, social emotional skills, and executive functioning skills that are key in everyday life! Some options include:
Mad Libs: this game gets everyone working together to make a silly story! Everyone can take turns coming up with words and reading the end product. Squigly’s Playhousehas lots of stories to choose from!
Problem-solving activities: using Legos, blocks, Play-Doh, or drawing materials, have one person describe how to build/draw an object. The other person must listen closely and ask questions to know exactly how to build it.
20 Questions: a classic game that gets everyone talking to one another and using problem-solving and process of elimination skills to figure out the mystery item! This game can be done verbally or with drawings, kind of like Pictionary.
Make up a dance or workout routine with each other: teach each other new moves, practice together, and put on a performance! Your kiddo will be so proud of what they created!
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!