From Ascend’s Expert & Lead Clinic Occupational Therapist
Cecilia Su, MS, OTR/L
1. For many kids, staying at home has become the routine thus reintegration into the community is essential in preparation for returning to school. Plan daily trips outside the house.
- Walks around the neighborhood or to the park
- Drive to pick up food
- Grocery runs
- Museums, zoos, movies, restaurants as places start opening up
- Practice drives to visit the school
2. Talk about COVID and plans to return to school in a manner that meets the child’s developmental level.
- Use online videos, pictures, stories
- Listen and observe for worries, stress, or fear
- Acknowledge and discuss their concerns
- Discuss and practice safety protocols that the schools may be using when the kids return such as temperature checking, hand washing, mask wearing, social distancing, and disinfecting equipment and toys.
3. Re-establish school time schedule.
- Wake time
- Morning routine of dressing, washing up, making up bed, etc.
- Meal time
- Work time with worksheets, reading, coloring, writing, etc.
- Recess or play time outdoors
- Bath time
- Bed time
- Washing hands before and after activities
4. Decrease screen time (television, laptop, tablets, and cell phones) in preparation for in-person instruction.
- First step should be decreasing free time with screens and replacing with an alternative engaging activity such as:
- Playing outside
- Making a craft project
- Doing house chores
- Playing with toys
- Taking a walk
5. Discuss with teachers and therapists who have been providing online services for ideas on how to make the transition from virtual to in-person easier for the child.