30 OT-Approved Activities to Keep Kids Engaged this Summer

With summer in full swing, you might be looking for some activities to beat the boredom and keep kids engaged in play-based learning. And we’ve got you covered…

We’ve compiled a list of OT-approved activities that you can try over the next 4 weeks. This list will help you keep the kids busy and learning through play during their downtime…

1. Use cute paw print cutouts for this fun Monster Footprint Hop activity. 

2. Move your body and engage your imagination by imitating different animal movements with these Animal Exercises

RELATED: Our Yoga & Mindfulness Program comes with animal-based yoga cards

3. Check out this budget-friendly set up and use different materials to create a Sensory Walk.  

4. Make use of different materials to improve fine motor skills with this Trace the Lines activity. 

5. Learn a mum or dad’s skill. Dad a passionate fisherman? Teach your children the basics? Mum play netball? Head to the park with a ball.

6. Clip on the corresponding small letter to the big letter on the board with this Letter Clip activity

7. Use fun, colourful sprinkles with this pre-writing activity

8. Try this coloured bead activity and match the string colours with the beads to create cute images with colourful hair.

9. Make the most of the sun and have a day in the garden running through the sprinklers. 

10. Make use of different items or different coloured balls to shoot them into the right sections of the box. 

Looking for more ways to engage your child in play-based learning this summer?

Our popular OT at Home Bundle combines our 4 foundational programs. With a number of diverse activities, it keeps children engaged in play-based learning by allowing them to try new things.

11. Make use of your backyard to create a fun obstacle course for kids to enjoy and exercise.

12. Create sticker lines and follow the line with different sticker dots. 

13. Grab some popsicle sticks and create popsicle spiders

14. Create velcro boards and have hours of fun.  

15. Have a backyard camping evening. Set up a tent or swag and enjoy the fun of the outdoors at home. Bonus points for learning survival skills in the process!

16. Use some fish snacks and put the right number of fish for the pond 

17. Using just a balloon, paper plates and popsicle sticks, you can have a ball playing balloon tennis

18. Grab some tape and encourage children to put their toys (or household items) in the shapes.

19. Start a family tradition that you’ll do together for summers to come. Pick something that’s fun and brings you together as a family. 

20. Help children with their emotional development with this Emotion Play Dough activity

21. Make a play dough maze and blow ping pong balls through 

22. Need a quick and easy setup? Try this apple sorting activity

23. Get some fresh air and create a chalk exercise course outside. 

24. Allow the kids to help with some summer cooking. This is great for teaching hygiene, safety and daily living skills. 

25. Get outdoors and try this hula hoop number game 

26. Enjoy a friendly competition by filling buckets with water

27. Hop on to one colour after another and practise your child’s colours and agility in the process.

28. Make use of used cardboard and try this fun colouring activity

29. Try this rainbow activity to develop fine motor skills and cognitive function with used cardboard and coloured sticks.

30. Using curled-up pipe cleaners and some clothes pegs to pick them up, fill up your cups and collect all your fuzzy wormies.

And here are 30 more ideas to try…

1. Plant a veggie garden. Hint: our Gardening OT at Home Program will help you with this. 

2. Create some sensory buckets to explore using household items like rice, flour and shaving cream. 

3. Grab a bucket of soapy water and some plastic animals and give the animals a bath. You can even get the animals muddy in the garden beforehand.

4. Create a family time capsule. Take some photos, draw something or write letters to add to your capsule. You could even make this a summer tradition.

5. Build on the sensory tub activity and dig through the sand or a bucket of rice to find the puzzle pieces

6. Enhance scissor skills with this trace-the-line activity. 

7. With all the fun of the summer holidays, it’s sometimes a good idea to have some downtime. Hint: our Yoga and Mindfulness Program can help you here. 

8. Go cloud-spotting! Grab some beach towels or picnic blankets and lie in the grass, looking up to see if you can spot clouds that look like different objects, people or animals.

9. Inspire your budding bakers. Get in the kitchen and bake and decorate cakes. Our CakeMasters Program guides children through this process and is a great way to ensure your child can reap the therapeutic benefits of baking. 

10. Match the big letters with the small letters in the alphabet to complete this alphabet plate activity

11. Ask the children to grab all of the pillows and blankets they can find to make a fort. Then spend some time in your newly-built space and tell stories.

12. Collect sticks and leaves and make some paintbrushes. Then discover the different strokes the different leaves make. 

Looking for more ways to engage your child in play-based learning this summer?

Our popular OT at Home Bundle combines our 4 foundational programs. With a number of diverse activities, it keeps children engaged in play-based learning by allowing them to try new things.

13. Head to the local fruit and veg market and pick out some items your children haven’t tried before and explore them together. 

14. Have a movie night or family games night. 

15. Trace the outline of your child’s body and have them paint designs on their body. This is great to inspire creativity and help with emotional regulation. 

16. Create a nature cutting bin. Collect sticks, leaves and flowers and allow the children to cut them into pieces. This activity allows children to benefit from their time in nature and helps them develop their cutting skills. 

17. Set up a family sports day with fun events like sack races, egg and spoon races and tug of war. 

18. Encourage children to use their imagination with an improv theatre show.

19. Have a picnic. If you want to extend this activity, allow each family member to create something to bring. 

20. Run around and swat the right bug. This one is great for letter recognition and physical exercise.

21. Follow a fun schedule or theme your days – Make something Monday, Taste something Tuesday, Wander somewhere Wednesday, Do Something Thoughtful Thursday, Family Fun Friday etc. 

22. Instead of using water bombs, use your cut-up sponges to have a fun and safe water fight. 

23. Go on a nature scavenger hunt. You can actually do this multiple times by theming each scavenger hunt differently – the colour scavenger hunt, the living thing scavenger hunt, the gratitude scavenger hunt etc. 

24. Fish for the letters in an outdoor pool or in your bathtub to have a fun learning activity.

25. Make an activities jar that you can use throughout the year when you’re looking for activities to do. 

26. Draw lines with chalk and follow the line as quickly as you can. 

27. Go on a backyard adventure and make your own sticky painting with different leaves, flowers and grass that you find. 

28. Engage in a summer-long project. Perhaps making a go-cart together or completing a large Lego project. 

29. Have a car race with just a balloon and some Lego.

30. Put on some music and have a family dance party. Start with fast-paced music for high-energy dancing and then lower the tempo to lower the energy!

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