As explained in my previous blog post on sensory activities, there are a number of ways to keep our kids engaged and their bodies staying organized and receiving the sensory input they need. I love chores because children understand the routine and purpose, it generally provides whole body movements (including heavy work, movement and tactile), and it can be adapted to the child’s ability level. Here is a quick list of 13 chores you can do with your child.
- Make a chore chart with pictures and stars/stickers! Help them establish ownership in their work and be able to see the progress with the visual schedule!
- Give them a spray bottle and soft rag and wipe down the counters. Such a fun, basic activities that helps children develop bilateral coordination, visual motor skills, as well as fine/gross motor skills!
- Color the windows with ‘window’ markers then wash them down!
- Sweeping the floors. Make it fun! Each child has a 1’ square taped to the floor (I prefer blue painters tape). Try to see who can sweep the most into their square. The square provides fun but also provides a defined area (spatial organization). Sweeping is an excellent bilateral coordination and whole body activity! Great for the brain and the body!
- Play “Laundromat”. I set up a several different stations: The washer/dryer station, the folding station and the cash register station. I provide my kids with their own baskets with their names on them (I write their names on a piece of paper and tape them to the basket). Children usually love the “heavy work” of helping with laundry including pulling clothes out of the dryer and pushing the laundry basket around! Most of our activities usually involves a cash register and in this case my kids use it to “pay” for their laundry!
- Folding towels. I usually make this part of our “Laundromat” theme! Folding towels is a great whole body activity but also works on bilateral coordination, visual motor and visual perceptual skills!
- Work on sorting! Such a basic skill to teach organization and early executive function skills. I help the children establish the piles and we all work together to put the laundry in the correct pile. Such an important building block skill!
- Play shoe shop! Work with your child on organizing their shoes. You can help them organize by color, size or simply match them.
- Sorting cans and food in the cabinets
- Setup a ‘road’ with blue tape and have your child push a laundry basket on the floor and “clean up” the toys, book or whatever else is laid out on the floor. I love using blue tape (or something to help identify the space I want them to be in) so I can contain the activity and help them stay organized.
- Organize a scavenger hunt! The child earns a sticker for each of the items they find laying around the house (ex. Hair clips, stuffed animal, sock, etc.).
- Play chef! Helping with meal/snack prep: peeling carrots, cutting vegetables and fruit. A trick: many vegetables are too hard to cut safely for young children. I sometimes precook some vegetables, such as carrots (in the oven, microwave, etc.), to soften them so they are easier and safer for children to cut. Cooking skills are a great way to work on bilateral coordination, fine motor skills, visual motor skills and life skills.
- Go shopping in your child’s closet! Clean out your child’s closet or under the bed with your child’s help (children are usually motivated, uses a lot of movement and heavy work and a great way to purge unneeded items)!
Have questions about any of these suggestions? Interested in pursuing therapy services in the Boulder County area? Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to answer any questions you have!