Many different types of equipment are used in an occupational therapy clinic to increase strength, function, and independence in children. A lot of them are so fun and engaging, children don’t even know they’re working on developing skills! For safety reasons, equipment should always be recommended by and used with the ongoing support of an occupational therapist.
Trampolines are not only fun, but they also offer many sensory and gross motor benefits. Trampolines help integrate sensory input from the vestibular and proprioceptive systems. They also facilitate muscle strength and motor planning. A therapist can play games (duck, duck, goose!) or sing songs (ring around the Rosies) to work on all these areas at once!
Obstacle courses also allow occupational therapists to work on multiple goals at once. Therapists can work on gross motor skills such as posture control, body coordination, and muscle strength while also working on fine motor skills sueye-hande hand coordination and grasp strength all during one fun sequence of activities. And best of all, activities can easily be upgraded and downgraded based on skill levels.
Another piece of equipment that is common in occupational therapy clinics are swings. There are many different swings that can be used during therapy sessions, each has its own purpose and use. See the Blog post titled “Use of Swings in Occupational Therapy” for more information about different swing options. Swings can be used to increase body awareness, strength, and provide sensory regulation. They can also be combined with fine or gross motor activities to work on numerous goal areas at once.
Many therapists use weighted items like lap pads or vests during their sessions. These items help children gain sensory input through their proprioceptive system. They provide children with a calm feeling to increase regulation. Weighted items should only be used with direct supervision from an occupational therapist.
Climbing structures, like those at parks, are often found in occupational therapy clinics. They are a great way to work on developing gross motor skills as well as body awareness and motor planning skills. Children can practice climbing, balance, hopping and jumping while having fun exploring!
Pediatric occupational therapists use a variety of equipment to make therapy fun and functional! Contact Chicago Occupational Therapy or call (773) 980-0300 to learn more about our services and how we can help your child flourish and grow.