Have you tried different therapies for your child, but nothing seems to stick? Maybe it’s time to try a more fun approach! Recreational therapy aims to increase a person’s independence and functioning through participation in creative arts, dance, sports, puzzles, or logic games. These goals are accomplished by combining speech, fine motor, or gross motor goals with community involvement while engaging in your child’s preferred interests. Here are a few recreational therapy types that can improve your child’s quality of life.
Gardening is an effective mental health intervention, and horticultural therapy helps improve memory, cognition, language skills, and socialization. This therapy can help strengthen muscles and improve coordination, balance, and endurance. Children also learn to work independently, solve problems, and follow directions.
Swimming is the most popular form of recreational therapy because of the benefits of sensory integration, accessibility, and opportunity for an effective, low-impact workout. Many public pools and camps offer swimming lessons through the parks and recreation department, and private one-on-one lessons are available at most pools.
Dance and creative movement provide physical stimulation in a structured, supportive environment for sensory integration. The intimate connection with music makes dance feel less like exercise or physical therapy and more like leisure and fun. Some dance studios are non-profit organizations offering low-cost lessons for students with disabilities.
Art therapy uses a child’s innate creativity to develop social skills and self-awareness and manage behavior and emotional stress. Art therapy aims to improve or restore a child’s functioning and sense of personal well-being. During individual or group sessions, art therapists use their clients’ inherent capacity for creating art to enhance their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Drama therapy supports mental health and personal development through performance and theatrics. This approach provides context for children to tell stories, set goals, solve problems, and express feelings. Through acting, your child can explore the depth and breadth of their inner experience and enhance interpersonal relationship skills. Individuals who prefer scripted language may find drama therapy works with their strengths by reading from a set script and rehearsing repeatedly.
Riding a horse challenges multiple muscle groups, provides tactile and vestibular sensory input, and increases a child’s awareness of social and environmental cues. Therapeutic horseback riding involves personalized riding instruction with specific therapeutic goals, including safety and grooming lessons to nurture the relationship between a person and a horse.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.