'Tips & Tricks’ for ‘at home' therapy
Have you ever walked out of a therapy appointment with your child feeling a little overwhelmed and unsure where to begin? We understand that finding resources and getting started with ‘at home’ therapy can be daunting.
The key is to keep therapy suggestions playful and engaging. Like parenting in general, ‘at home’ therapy requires a village and doing it all ourselves is simply not sustainable. People that may like to be involved include friends, family, babysitters and allied health students. The golden rule is if someone offers to help, just say yes! Give them some resources, share some strategies, and let them go for it.
Of course, gathering resources can be time consuming and expensive so consider sharing toys and books with friends and family. A useful strategy is utilising ‘new to you’ toys on rotation which keeps things interesting for you and your child. Other places to find free or budget friendly resources include libraries, toy libraries and thrift stores, as well as buy/ swap/sell pages on social media. In addition to toy shops, craft and stationary stores are worth exploring.
Once you’ve gathered your resources, you can set up some ‘go to’ systems and strategies to save time and energy. One such system we call ‘weekly toy planning’ which is a bit like meal planning, only more fun. Start by picking a time in the week to make up a few tubs with a variety of toys and activities designed to reach the therapeutic goals that you are working on. This makes it very easy to do a short burst of therapy with your child when you have some time throughout the week.
Some of our tried and tested top tips for fun and engaging ‘at home’ therapy are:
- embed skills in play
- offer choice
- use favourite themes
- play family games
With much of life being ‘on the go’ we found having a toy tub in the car a great way of using chunks of time when we found ourselves out and about with time to spare. The contents can be swapped over every couple of weeks, to maximise interest and engagement. (Lisa)
My child was reluctant to participate in therapy at home, but through trial and error we worked out that they would do anything if we turned it into a ‘seek and find’ game. (Lisa)