5 Creative Summer Activities That Can Improve Your Child’s IEP

summer ideas Jul 14, 2023
Five creative summer activities That can improve your child's IEP. In the background there is the the color blue and yellow with sunglasses laying on the ground.

Are you looking for ways to improve your child’s IEP when school starts back up?


Guess what? One of the first things the school is going to ask you for is data you’ve collected during the summer months! 


Below you will find five different activities that will not only engage your child but also help you gather important data on their progress. 


Psst…it’s important to collect this data so we have more of a leg to stand on when we meet with your child’s IEP team.


Nature Walks and Scavenger Hunts


Why not take advantage of the great outdoors? Plan a nature walk or a scavenger hunt in a nearby park or backyard. 


While enjoying the beauty of nature, you can count different plants and animals or find specific objects on a scavenger hunt list. While you’re enjoying being outside and identifying plants and animals be sure to take notes either while outside or immediately after regarding their ability to follow instructions and find specific objects on a scavenger hunt list, which provides insights into their attention to detail and task completion abilities.


Sensory Play and Measurement


Sensory play is not only fun but also a great opportunity for data collection. 


Fill a basin with water or play with sand, and let your child explore different textures and materials. While they have a blast, you can track their progress by measuring and recording how they interact with these sensory experiences.


For instance, you can note their ability to pour water accurately, manipulate sand with their hands or tools, or their sensitivity to different textures. This data helps you understand their fine motor skills, sensory processing, and hand-eye coordination.


Cooking Projects and Tracking Progress


Cooking projects are not just delicious but can also serve as data collection opportunities. Involve your child in measuring ingredients, following recipes, and documenting the cooking process. By tracking their progress in the kitchen, you'll be collecting valuable data on their fine motor skills, attention to detail, and independence. For example, you can record their ability to measure ingredients accurately, follow step-by-step instructions, demonstrate safety and hygiene practices, and showcase their independence in completing cooking tasks. This data provides insights into their math skills, attention to detail, sequencing abilities, and life skills development.


Arts and Crafts and Skill Tracking


Who doesn't love getting creative with arts and crafts? 


Set up a designated area for your child to unleash their artistic side through painting, drawing, or sculpting. While they enjoy the creative process, you can track their progress in various areas. 


For instance, you can observe and record their fine motor skills by noting how they hold and control art materials, their ability to trace lines or shapes, or their hand coordination during cutting or shaping activities. Additionally, you can track their creativity by observing their use of colors, imagination, and the level of detail they include in their artwork.


Games and Social Interaction


Games are a fantastic way to promote social interaction and collect data simultaneously. 


Engage your child in turn-taking games, cooperative tasks, or group projects. Not only will they have a great time playing, but you can also observe and record their progress in social skills, communication, and teamwork. 


For instance, you can note their ability to take turns patiently, follow game rules, communicate their ideas or strategies effectively, and collaborate with others. This data provides valuable insights into their social development, language skills, and ability to work in a team.


Remember, the key is to make data collection enjoyable for both you and your child. Whether it's exploring nature, engaging in sensory play, cooking up a storm, getting artsy, or playing games, each activity offers unique opportunities for tracking progress and celebrating growth.


So, get out there and make the most of the summer while collecting valuable data! Enjoy the process, have fun with your child, and remember that these activities are not only about gathering information but also about creating cherished memories together. 


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