Whenever I bring up an opportunity for my son to take a class, participate in a program as a ‘helper,’ or do anything he isn’t authentically interested in, I get the same reply, “Mom, I just want to play.” This reply stands out because it is from a 14-year-old. Yes, big kids still want to play! The problem is that there very few opportunities for pre-teens and teens to ‘just play.’ So, before I go any further, let me define ‘play‘. Play is a range of intrinsically motivated activities done for recreational pleasure and enjoyment (Garvey, 1990). For this post, I’m defining play as child-led, including activities they choose and resulting in their enjoyment. In the homeschool community, you will find groups, generally led by…
Student Reflections at Treeline from OT Student Sean Vercellone, St. Augustine University I have always enjoyed spending time in nature. It is a place where I feel safe and most like myself. This fact shaped my career path and led me to work at a summer camp for kids and adults with disabilities. I loved this job! I lead activities like kayaking, tubing, and ziplining, while also building meaningful connections with so many unique kids and adults. Working at this camp for three summers changed my life. Not only did it lead to me applying to occupational therapy school, but it was the first time I witnessed the therapeutic benefits of nature.
Is your child showing interest in colors, shapes, or counting? Does your child like to collect and sort things? Have you observed your child filling and dumping containers? These are all beautiful examples of child-led learning that is building important visual discrimination skills, bilateral coordination, hand-eye coordination, proprioceptive awareness, and more.
My kids do not love going on a walk and they are pretty hard to convince that going on a hike is a great way to spend a morning. But when we spice up the event with a scavenger hunt, it turns the ordinary into something EXTRAORDIONARY! This week, we are combining regular walks with diverse movement experiences! Are you ready to join us?