Occupational Therapy (OT) equipment for home has gained popularity over the years, as studies suggest the more clients practice what they’ve learnt, the more they progress. Practice makes perfect with everything we do and we want your child to do the same with their occupational therapy.
However, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on OT equipment for your home, very much the opposite! This is why we’re sharing with you the top 5 things you probably already have around your home, to utilise for your children as occupational therapy equipment for home when we give them “homework”. This allows them to make for better progress outside of their occupational therapy and they get to practice the new and different skills they’ve learnt in their sessions with us and have some fun at home in the process.
When we engage your child during teletherapy sessions or set homework tasks, our therapists can use ANYTHING (and I mean, anything) you have around the house to work on their goals – from socks to kitchen tongs, to balls, to newspaper, to cushions.
Anything around your house can be used as occupational therapy equipment
A common question we get from parents is, if we are going to get some sensory equipment for regulation and homework activities, what equipment would you recommend?
The answer to this is dependent on the child, their sensory needs, therapy goals, and other factors, such as NDIS funding core supports budget and more.
But if you were looking for some ‘go to’ equipment for your home, you’re in the right place and reading the right blog article, it’s time to get creative!
Here is our list of top 5 OT equipment for your home:
- Gym ball
Exercise balls are versatile and can be used for bouncing, rolling, planking, core strengthening, tactile and deep pressure feedback activities, obstacle courses and more.
Most families have an old deflated one in the shed somewhere, it’s time to dust it off, pump it up and hand it over for some great use for your child to use at home for OT purposes.
One important factor is the size of the ball. Young children (3-6 years) may benefit from a 45 cm wide gym ball. Regular adult gym balls can range from 55-65 cm.
Gym balls are affordable, versatile and can even be used when working at a desk, to provide some additional tactile and proprioceptive sensory feedback through the body and support the child’s attention.
- Scooter board
A scooter board is essentially a flat trolley or skateboard (but with 4 rotational wheels). Children can kneel, sit, or lie on their tummies (but not stand, for safety reasons) and self-propel themselves around the house. This works on upper body and core strength, bilateral control, postural control and is an excellent way to give your child sensory heavy work through their muscles to support their attention and regulation.
Scooter boards are great for hallway obstacle courses, floor hockey matches and more.
- Crash Mat
A crash mat is a large pillow filled with foam that kids can land on, crash into, or lie in, that provides a soft landing. It’s a perfect option for children who seek lots of movement and touch feedback, supporting your child’s nervous system to regulate and attend. This is also a much safer and sustainable alternative to running and crashing into couches or furniture.
In another blog post of ours we teach you exactly how to make your own, very affordable crash mat. You can read this here: https://otfcgroup.com.au/easy-diy-crash-mat/
The trampoline! Such a classic and great OT equipment tool to support children to stay physically active, whilst also supporting their body awareness, balance, coordination, and self-regulation. The trampoline is an occupational therapy ‘go-to’ and can be used in so many ways to support your child’s emotional regulation, sensory regulation, and attention. It’s such a great piece of equipment to have in the backyard for homework activities, teletherapy sessions and sprinkler jumps in summer. Side note: we think you should try putting the sprinkler under the trampoline in the warmer months, it’s a great side track to jumping and so much fun for your children in the process.
Pleasingly, there are lots of safe, enclosed options on the market we’re sure you will find something that fits your needs.
- Swing set
Swings are an essential Ayres Sensory Integration (ASI) OT equipment tool, which therapists use to support children’s regulation, attention, balance, postural control, and motor planning. Having a swing at home, or a swing set with varying swing attachments, is always a good idea. Your child can use this to self-regulate after a meltdown, develop their core strength throughout the week and get the vestibular and proprioceptive sensory feedback they need to go inside and focus on their homework!
We’d love you to chat with your occupational therapist today, asking them for personalised recommendations, regarding which pieces of sensory equipment would be most beneficial for your child’s development and their occupational therapy goals.
OTFC Group are based across three locations Adelaide CBD, Mile End and Parkside.
Influencing Lives. Creating Possibilities. Making a Difference
OTFC is a South Australian clinic-based service that is centrally located and services children and adolescents from birth through to 21 years of age both locally and nationally. Dedicated to providing a client focused approach where children and families feel validated in their concerns, supported in difficult times, encouraged to be proactive and inspired to facilitate change.