Keep cool with summer water activities
A great way to get kids outside and moving in the summertime are water activities!
Not only is playing with water fun for kids, it is a great sensory integration medium that can be beneficial for many different children across a wide range of developments and abilities.
Kids with sensory sensitivities to water may be hesitant to take showers, wash hands, and swim. Outdoor water play is a great way to introduce water in a way that allows the child to explore at their own pace and eventually become more comfortable.
There are many ways to adapt water activities and make them interesting for children. This allows you to focus the activities on gross motor coordination (movement of arms and legs in activities such as running), bilateral coordination (using both sides of the body for a task), strengthening, sensory integration, and even fine motor skills (coordination of small muscles, usually fingers, to perform an action in sync with the eyes). A few examples of these activities are sprinklers, slip-n-slides, water balloons, and squirt water pistols (some squirt guns promote bilateral coordination, which is a huge bonus!).
Along with these water activities there is also swimming! Swimming is a great activity that promotes sensory integration, motor planning, bilateral coordination, improved core, strength, and more.
Water provides 600 to 700 times the resistance of air. When you’re swimming, you use 12 times the force in order to move your body. This provides great proprioceptive input (provides overall body awareness through joints, muscles and connective tissue)!
Click on the items of additional water activities listed below, which were found through some fun resources:
If you are looking for more ideas on summertime activities, whether based around water or something else, please speak with your therapist. We have so many ideas we would love to share!
Thanks for reading!
Stephanie Earl, COTA
Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant