The summer can be a fun and challenging time. It can be liberating to not have school or daily routines. Without formal scheduling guidelines, you can choose your preferred activities. However, it can also be difficult to identify such activities, especially without guidance or suggestions. Below, we list some suggestions for summer activities.

Capitalize on Your Child’s Strengths and Preferences

As a parent, you know your child best. Think about your child’s favorite activities, places, and people. Try to identify summer activities that align with your child’s strengths and preferences. For example, if your child loves water play, consider visiting a local children’s museum that has water activities, going to the local pool, and organizing water activities in your back yard.

Meet Your Child’s Needs

Summer can also be a great time to creatively think about how to address your child’s needs. For example, think about your goals for your child. Do you want your child to eat independently? Do you want your child to have more words? Now, in light of these goals, identify activities that may provide a platform to meet them. At right is a list of potential goals and corresponding activities

Enjoy the Summer

As parents of children receiving early intervention services, it can be easy to stay in “therapist” mode. Many parents recognize the need to spend time with their children without working toward certain goals. To this end, you may want to look at these links written by parents of children with disabilities about how to balance responsibilities:

Regardless of the activities you pursue, make sure you enjoy the time being with your child this summer!

Goals Activities
Improve fine motor skills Use Play-Doh to create items (e.g., bracelets), use tongs to pick up small items(e.g., buttons), encourage your child to turn pages in a book, practice coloring
Improve gross motor skillsGo to the park, practice jumping, go down the slide, try a tricycle, walk to a neighbor’s house
Improve receptive and expressive language skills Ask your child to request what he/she wants to do, encourage your child to respond to questions, practice saying “hello” and “bye bye” to new people you meet
Increase play skills Identify play groups in the community, join local events for children, go to storytime at the local library

Originally written for the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse Newsletter: Summer 2018

Planning for Summer (by Meghan Burke)