Occupational Therapy, at its core, is a practice in the medical world that assesses daily life activities and improves those areas as necessary to create high-functioning routines in the household. It is the dedication of the practice that engrains the ability to fine-tune these tasks in their patients and support a fulfilling day to day life. As Lively Therapy Services passed their milestone of one year in business, a fun opportunity was brought to the community as a way to get their children involved with the world of Occupational Therapy. The clinic encouraged the youth of Cabarrus, Rowan, Mecklenburg, and surrounding counties to join them in the start of their Enrichment Camp Program, in which children (both clients and non-clients!) learned sportsmanship, healthy eating, and reciprocal play.
Lively Therapy Services created a schedule for 4 to 13-year-olds to spend two and a half hours in groups of their own age improving their fine motor skills, gross motor skills, sportsmanship, and increasing their sensory knowledge with a sensory-based snack and a craft that encapsulated all of the tactics focused on during a typical Occupational Therapy session. The clinic was split into several different ‘stations’ for camp and kids moved in groups from station to station, working on different activities or skills determined by the Occupational Therapy Assistants and our student volunteers.
Fine motor skills are movements made possible by the small muscles in the hands and wrists. Dexterity is improved by cutting paper, tying shoelaces, buttoning a shirt, stacking Legos, and improving precision by gluing or writing/tracing letters and numbers. Gross motor skills are skills that include the full body. Jumping jacks, balancing, and kicking a ball are wonderful practices to improve the usage of these motor skills, and exactly what our campers did at our obstacle course! Kids were given the chance to create a piece of the obstacle course for them and their new friends to conquer, using traffic cones, beach balls, pool noodles, hula hoops, and balancing beams (just to name a few!). While this increased their ability to complete tasks with gross motor skills, this also encouraged the practice of sportsmanship in which kids were required to work together and brainstorm the creation of the obstacle course and how it would be completed.
Our first camp was held on Friday, June 17th and focused on sportsmanship, fundamentals of OT integrated in crafts, high sensory snacks and activities, and introduced our campers to the concept of sportsmanship and socialization. Campers created sensory bottles, made paper crafts, and created their own obstacle courses, all before enjoying our beach-themed snack, requiring kids to try a blue Jello cup (water) decorated with crushed up graham crackers (sand) and fish gummies!
Our second camp took place on June 24th and introduced healthy eating to our campers. We introduced several foods that our campers had never tried before, taught them how to make their own fruit smoothie (with the help of an adult, of course!), worked on their penmanship with a craft requiring them to trace their names, and completed an obstacle course created by their lifeguards!
Disclaimer: Lively Therapy Services, LLC received written and verbal consent to post the photos of our staff, our campers, and our volunteers. All of these photos are property of Lively Therapy Services, LLC and may not be used without authorization from the business. Unauthorized use of these photos is strictly prohibited.