OT on the Boat

I’ve talked about PT and sensory activities on the boat, so now I’m going to share how we incorporate activities from occupational therapy into our daily routine.

In the Bean’s case, OT focuses on fine motor skills, visual reasoning, drawing, and following directions. One therapy session lasts 45 minutes, and this is the breakdown: 10-15 minutes of swinging after brushes and joint compressions, fine motor activity and/or drawing, a 25 piece puzzle (with some assistance), and an “obstacle course.” We try to do 3 OT activities with her each day.

This is what we do for each category:

Fine Motor

–We got some sewing cards from a rummage sale. Beanie has to lace around them. She is pretty independent with this and enjoys it.

–Beading is a fun activity for the Bean and me to do together.

–Beanie loves making shadow puppets!

–The Bean loves her nesting boxes. She will build huge towers, then put them away, in order.

The Bean loves her sewing cards!

Visual Reasoning

–Beanie loves puzzles. I will give her a few pieces (that go together) at a time. If she insists on having all the pieces, I will let her try it. I will let her work on her own, unless she gets frustrated or asks for help. Beanie has an excellent visual memory, so we have a lot of puzzles (from rummage sales!) on hand.

Puzzles of animals are favorites.


–Beanie is supposed to work on drawing vertical lines, horizontal lines, and circles. We tried having her do a worksheet, where she was supposed to trace the lines. There was no way she was doing that! Now her OT will have her draw freely, then model “lines” and “circles,” while saying the words. Beanie loves this and will copy the shapes when they are presented this way. We have some very short crayons, with both ends sharpened, that her school OT gave us. These are too small for her to hold in her fist, so she is forced to grip them properly.

Following Directions

–The Bean does an obstacle course at almost every OT session. The therapist chooses 3 activities and velcros pictures of them in order, then goes over the order with Beanie. For example, they might go on the slide, jump on the trampoline, then walk on the sensory dots. She will show Beanie, then have her do the activities. Right now, Beanie needs lots of reminders, but she is improving! We do this in her room and at the marina. When we go on our cruise, I will bring my digital camera and photo printer, so that we can do an obstacle course anywhere!

With all these activities, helping Beanie improve in OT is easy and fun!

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