Tag Archives: OT


Our Thinkering Kids Summer Explorers Camp Update

Week 2 – Our Safari Week!


What a fun week we had with our Safari theme.  We all had fun exploring different animals and where they live in so many different ways. Not only did we do lots of learning and playing,  but we created fun crafts such as binoculars and vests using recycling materials, such as binoculars and vests,  that we used during other activities throughout the week.  We did yoga activities based on animal movements, and experienced food by creating giraffes, snakes and other animals using different fruits, bread and other food items. Great way to explore food for those who love it, and for those who tend to avoid new food items. Scavenger hunts where all about fostering thinking and problemsolving skills. Our exploratory campers had to figure out clues to figure out what animals were hiding for them to rescue. Activities about animals were a great motivation for our explorers to engage in writing and coloring activities. What a blast we had with this jungle safari adventure!


Week 3 – Celebration Week!

Last week it was all about celebrating our 4th of July.  In preparation of all the excitement and overflow of sensory activities our campers were going to be exposed to during the Independence Day celebration, our explorer campers engaged in many activities aimed at giving them opportunity to prepare them to what was coming up, and to practice self-control.  On Thursday, after the 4th of July, our older campers planned and organized a celebration party we were having on Friday, while our younger campers practiced dancing songs and created sensory firework and ornaments for the party. Friday came and we all had so much FUN! Seeing our explorer campers just having such a great time playing with their friends, dancing, playing with balloons, being kids! After all, research indicates that children learn best in an environment which allows them to explore, discover, and play


The Power of Play – Build Memories, Build Skills

My memories from childhood involve vivid images, varied odors, scents, flavors,voices and textures. I see myself dressed up in my mother’s clothes, wearing high heels and green eyeliner all over my face. I see myself helping my grandfather prepare the pasta for his home-made lasagna or counting the dry beans for the frijoles. I see myself cuddling under the blankets and my grandmother singing bedtime songs. I see myself with my brother in the backyard playing with the water hose, full of mud. I still see my painted face, smell the lasagna, taste the frijoles, hear the songs and feel the mud.All these sensory rich experiences and personal interactions provided the base for the development of my cognitive, motor, speech, language and social emotional skills. These experiences were “accidental”. They were not purposely designed by my family to stimulate my skills. They were just part of life. What do you remember from your childhood? Probably your memories are very different to mine and they might involve other family members, caregivers, teachers or peers. All these memories are contained in the album of experiences that facilitated the development of your unique set of skills in all areas of development.What experiences are we providing to our children in our modern lives? What memories are they saving in their album? Our hectic non-stop weekly routines and responsibilities make it difficult to provide our children with these rich playing experiences that build memories and skills . We tend to turn to the I-pads, I-phones and gaming devices to keep our children quiet and busy while we get everything done. We use them as pacifiers, nannies and “play-pals”. Sometimes this is OK. I do it too! These are different times and we need to take advantage of the many benefits technology brings. We need to embrace it, but we also need to remember that it does not replace the quality and depth of personal interactions. When used too often, it can isolate our children and keep them out of our world; they create their own little world of images and voices. When I was a child there were no I-phones or I-pads, so I had to go to the kitchen with grandpa or go to my mother’s closet and get creative! Now days children are bombarded with stimuli that not necessarily build solid sensory, motor, cognitive and language skills. Unlike my parents and grandparents, today parents must be conscious and purposely provide experiences that contribute to building developmental skills.
How can you do it? By bringing them to the closet! By bringing them to the kitchen! By letting them get wet and dirty! By letting them hear our voice, YOUR voice! By singing, dancing, creating, PLAYING!
 When caregivers engage in play activities with their children, they have an opportunity to facilitate and reinforce the growth of their skills across all areas of development. Help your child build memories with vivid images, varied odors, scents, flavors, voices and textures! Help them build skills!
From the Desk of: Maria Padilla, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech and Language Therapy
Thinkering Kids Therapy