The Therapeutic Recreation team at TVCC has gathered a number of resources and ideas for families to stay active, engaged and connected through meaningful activity while we are all being encouraged to stay at home. We will continue to share these ideas (and so much more) on our TVCC Therapeutic Recreation Facebook page.
These ideas are being shared as a reference for you and your family. They are not intended to be a recommendation or endorsement of the programs or opportunities. This is not an exhaustive list; new opportunities are springing up every day. We encourage you to share your ideas with us as we will continue to update this resource regularly.
Learn more about Therapeutic Recreation at TVCC
How can we be helpful?
Our Therapeutic Recreation team is here for you and your family. We want to hear from you. Please let us know what you would find helpful for you and your family.
Let us know if you have an idea, resource, or anything to add to the list!
Sasha, Rachel & Karen
Your Therapeutic Recreation team
tr [at] tvcc.on.ca (tr[at]tvcc[dot]on[dot]ca)
Staying Active at Home
We know the benefits of staying active, whether it is going for a walk, going out to the playground or finding our way to the gym. For families, staying active looks and feels very different right now. Listed below are a number of different resources, videos and community partners that are sharing ideas for families to keep active at home. A reminder that when you are trying something new, pay careful attention to how you or your kids are feeling and stop the activity if you are feeling unwell.
Find fun programs and activities for you and your family to do at home!
Cosmic Kids Yoga
Yoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed especially for kids aged 3+. Used in schools and homes all over the world.
Heroes Circle Karate
The Heroes Circle program, open to ALL children in pain, provides therapeutic martial arts classes and hospital visits for children and teens. The program teaches traditional karate moves along with the mind-body techniques of meditation, breathing, relaxation, and visualization to dramatically lower pain levels. Heroes Circle is open to virtual lessons
Jays Care Foundation – Unstoppable Kids Daily Challenges
Have you heard about Challenger Baseball? Join the team and Be Unstoppable! Get involved in Jays Care's daily challenges and have fun while gaining new skills at home.
Jumpstart Canadian Tire – Play from Home Resources Hub
Explore tips and videos from community partners and listen to athlete ambassadors for ideas to stay healthy and engaged while at home.
Tips, tricks and challenges to help you connect with your friends, coaches and Special Olympics Ontario while practicing social distancing.
Seated Ballet - English National Ballet
Try a chair-based ballet dance class. Ballet lovers who have restricted mobility or limited space at home may find this class particularly useful, but it can be enjoyed by everyone.
YMCA of Southwestern Ontario
Explore stories, recipes, health and wellness tips, on-demand videos, and activities for children.
- Activities include YThrive, YWell, YPlay and 12 Bursts of Play.
- Check out other YMCA videos on YouTube
Staying Engaged and Connected at Home
It is also important to stay engaged and connected to families and friend outside your household. Make it a point to reach out to friends, peers, neighbours, and other families. Try some of the ideas and opportunities listed below. Let us know what has worked well for your family – we would love to share your ideas with others.
Dreams Come True Music Studio
Dreams Come True Music Studio believes in making music accessible for all. It is an inclusive Music program for people of all ages and all abilities. Participants sing and dance as they are able and form new friendships. Join them on Facebook where they have been practicing three times a week on Facebook Live Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.
- Here’s what Early on Centre in St Thomas has planned for you
- Get connected to an Early On or Family Centre
House Party is a social networking service that enables group video chatting through mobile and desktop apps.
Netflix Party is a new way to watch Netflix with your friends online. Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to your favourite Netflix shows. All participants require their own Netflix membership.
Messenger Kids is a free video calling and messaging app for smartphones and tablets. Parents control their kids’ contact list through their own Facebook page, and kids control the fun. Keep in touch with close friends and family with fun-filled features like filters and stickers.
There are many children’s authors using their social media channels to share stories with you.
- Check this daily listing of authors and story times.
- Looking for Story time in American Sign Language?
The Toronto Zoo is bringing the zoo to you. Explore family and school based resources. Lots of creative and learning ideas for everyone!
Ideas for Offline Activities
We have grouped these activities in six categories: Family, Fitness, Function, Friends, Future and Fun (of course!). Learn more about these F-words and what they mean in Childhood Disability.
“Everyone needs to stay fit and healthy, including me. Help me find ways to keep fit.”
YOGA - Yoga is a fabulous fitness activity that can be done with the whole family. While exploring yoga and different body poses it is important to teach children to listen to their bodies and stop if a pose is uncomfortable, stretch slowly and breathe deeply, and never to force a pose.
Alphabet Yoga - Explore the different ways we can move our bodies by creating different letters with our bodies. Spell your name. Create a message. Make a photo collage of letter poses and share the message to someone special. Animal
Yoga – pretend your body is a different animal. How does a cat move, a snake, an eagle, a giraffe…? Other objects you can imitate: tree, bridge, tall building, river… the possibilities are endless!
Explore the benefits of yoga for your kids and family
“My family knows me best and I trust them to do what’s best for me. Listen to them. Talk to them. Hear them. Respect them.”
FAMILY CREST - Create your own family or friendship crest. Use traits that are important to you, or things that make up who you are! Do you like sports? What about music? Maybe you have a love for animals, or you have a unique heritage and background. Add these into your crest, so we can see what makes you, you!
This activity was copied from Jays Kids Foundation – Unstoppable Kids. Check their website for daily and weekly challenges in fitness, kindness, creativity and more!
“I will grow up one day, so please find ways for me to develop independence and be included in my community”
GROW YOUR OWN SALAD - Greens are one of the easiest crops to grow indoors (and outdoors when the spring weather arrives!). Grow spinach, lettuce or kale and you can begin to harvest greens within a month! To get started on greens, you just need a few things: a bright sunny window, seeds, pots and soil.
This idea was copied from KidsGardening. Check their website for more ideas, resources and activities to get your kids involved in gardening.
“Childhood is about fun and play. This is how I learn and grow. Please help me do the activities that I find the most fun”
SLIME & GOOP - Create slime and other sensory goopy activities with ingredients in your kitchen. Try some of these edible slime recipies… maybe chocolate slime? Or marshmallow slime? Or jello slime?
Little Bins for Little Hands has oodles of fun and goopy activities… from lego to STEM to sensory… send us a picture of your creations!
“I might do things differently but I CAN do them. How I do it is not important. Please let me try!”
HOCKEY BOWLING - Stand up the targets, 20-30 centimetres apart, in front of a wall. Mark a shooting line on the ground about 2 metres from the targets. Children take turns trying to knock over the targets by shooting at the target.
- try using different types of “balls” (tennis ball, beachball, ball of yarn, waterbottle…)
- try using different sticks to shoot the ball (a ministick, a pool noodle, a rolled up towel, try shorter sticks, lighter sticks…)
- try different targets (lighter, heavier, odd shaped, water bottles filled to different level…)
Check out these and many other activities and ideas for adaptation on the Active for Life website.
“Having childhood friends is important. Please give me opportunities to make friends with my peers.”
STAY CONNECTED - We know how important it is to stay connected to our friends and there are many online ways to keep those connections active (netflix party, messenger kids, houseparty are just a couple). There are also many ways to celebrate these connections off-line. What other creative ideas do you have? Send a letter in the mail. Write a sidewalk chalk message to them. Take a picture of it and text it to them. Post pictures of friends/family on a wall at home and post words describing them Try invisible ink messages to your friends