What’s a therapy home program?

A therapy home program helps your child build skills and make progress toward therapy goals while engaged in everyday activities. You can incorporate the included motor, sensory and language exercises into your child’s daily routines.

How does this help my child?

Your child’s occupational, physical or speech-language therapist has recommended this home program to help your child develop several kinds of skills: 

  • Daily living
  • Fine motor
  • Gross motor
  • Language

How should I use this information?

Follow these recommendations throughout the day. With consistent and frequent practice, your child’s skills will improve. To make it easier for you and your child, we suggest that you:

  • Talk with your therapist about how to do the activities with your child, so you are comfortable with them at home.
  • Post each sheet of your home program handout in the location where the described activity takes place. For example, put the Brushing Teeth and Bath sheets on your bathroom wall, and post the Diaper Change sheet above your child’s changing area.
  • Write on the posted sheets when you have ideas to add to your home program activities.
  • Relax; give yourself plenty of time to interact and have fun.

Time for BATH

Skills to Work On

Fine and/or Gross Motor

  • Blow, pop and catch bubbles.
  • Wash and bring hands together.
  • Sit with balance.
  • Reach for toys.
  • Kick and splash.

Language

  • Talk about body parts.
  • Talk about what you are doing (washing, rinsing, splashing).
  • Include vocabulary terms, such as wet/dry, warm/cold and dirty/clean.

Time for EATING

Skills to Work On

Daily Living

  • Be part of the family meal: Talk with others and sit at the table.
  • Explore how food looks, feels, smells and tastes.
  • Make mealtimes fun and enjoyable.
  • Practice fine motor skills, such as picking up Cheerios or holding utensils.
  • Learn to self-feed.

Language

  • Talk about the foods and utensils.
  • Include vocabulary terms, such as words that describe flavors and textures.
  • Use requests, such as “more” and “all done.”

Time for PLAY

Skills to Work On

Fine and/or Gross Motor

  • Have tummy time.
  • Ring or side-sit.
  • Clap.
  • Stack.

Language

  • Talk about the toys and how you’re playing with them.
  • Include vocabulary terms, such as big/small and go/stop.
  • Sing songs with actions, such as Itsy Bitsy Spider and Pat-A-Cake.

Time for BRUSHING TEETH

Skills to Work On

Daily Living

  • Use tooth brushing as part of your daily routine.
  • Learn to take care of your body.

Gross Motor

  • Stand with balance.

Language

  • Talk about places in the mouth.
  • Include vocabulary terms, such as in front/behind, in/out and top/bottom.

Time for DIAPER CHANGE

Skills to Work On

Fine and/or Gross Motor

  • Do hand-to-foot play.
  • Pull to sit.
  • Clap.

Language

  • Use this time to interact closely with your baby.
  • Make funny faces and sounds, and blow raspberries on baby’s tummy.
  • Talk about body parts and what you’re doing.

Time for GETTING DRESSED

Skills to Work On

Daily Living Skills 

  • Help child learn to be independent in taking care of himself or herself.

Fine and/or Gross Motor

  • Balance with a single leg.
  • Place each item on the floor to squat down to get it. 
  • Work on learning how to do buttons, snaps and zippers.

Language

  • Talk about the steps needed to get dressed.
  • Include vocabulary terms, such as “first” and “then” (for example, “first underwear, then pants.”); types of clothing; and action words, such as pull up, take off, zip.
  • Talk about descriptions. 
  • Include vocabulary, such as soft, fuzzy, itchy, and names of colors.

Time for BED

Skills to Work On

Daily Living Skills 

  • Create a routine around bedtime. This helps children learn how to fall asleep on their own.

Gross Motor

  • Pull back covers and fluff pillow.
  • Use different positions during story time: lying on tummy or side, or tall kneeling on edge of bed.
  • Roll up and down bed.
  • Pull to sit.

Language

  • Read books.
  • Include pointing to and talking about pictures.
  • Sing bedtime songs.
  • Encourage your child to sing along.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team.