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Do you want to decrease screen time?

Help your child become more coordinated and increase his/her confidence and self-image?

Play, socialize, and help other peers while learning and enjoying the benefits of being outside?

Our Milestones: OUTDOORS program includes therapy groups for approximately 3-5 children, organized in age groups that cover approximately 3-4 years with a mix of strengths and abilities. Groups include time spent doing semi-structured therapy activities, snack time, and supported free play outdoors. During groups, we use the land and other nature materials in a therapeutic way to play, marvel, explore, and learn in a natural environment!

The foundations included within this program are rooted in the ConTiGO approach, developed by Laura Park Figueroa whose philosophy includes connecting children with each other and nature, and transforming children’s development through therapy in the great outdoors! We will be hosting groups in all weather, as there is “no bad weather, just bad clothing!” The research indicates that the benefits to providing therapy to children in the outdoors and allowing children to connect to the natural environment are extensive.

Aspects and benefits of outdoor therapy:

  • Developing increased emotional regulation, executive functioning skills, and problem-solving through risky play.
  • Encouraging child-led learning and incorporating children’s’ interests into this leisure-based group.
  • Whole-body, hands-on, and inquiry-based learning during structured and free play activities.
  • Free play outside with peers fostering self-confidence and social-emotional learning.
  • Providing support when navigating communication breakdowns with group members.
  • Sensory-rich experiences to develop effective sensory processing systems.
  • Using natural materials and loose parts to increase pretend play and imagination.
  • General safety awareness to build independence.
  • Attention restoration through immersion in the outdoors and limiting stressful thoughts.
  • Time away from screens to decrease anxious and stressed feelings.

We feel it is very important to help educate children on all the benefits of being outside, how to interact with the environment safely, develop skills within a natural context, and how to show respect to the environment – as well as to others and themselves!

What does outdoor occupational therapy include?

This group offers you and your child the following:

  • Before the start of the group the occupational therapist will call you to help us assess your child’s abilities and start the screening process.
  • After the first two sessions of the group, you will be provided with an occupational therapy screening
    report. Please note: This is different than a full occupational therapy evaluation and please be sure to ask staff
    for more details on that if needed.
  • Determining a goal for your child. The development of this goal and what the primary area of focus is
    completed with the occupational therapist, the child, and the parents. Your input is important and needed!
  • A summary of progress at the completion of the group.

FAQ’s about nature-based therapy:

Can any child enroll in the group?
Children will be screened to determine if they have a need for occupational therapy prior to the start of the group. If your child would not benefit from occupational therapy services it will be suggested that you not enroll.

What are the safety measures and expectations for the children?
At the start of every group session, the therapist and group members develop a contract as a framework and to list expectations; all group members have to agree on group contract items and then indicate that by signing the contract! Since group is outside, there is an inherent safety risk as we cannot control all actions and situations that occur in nature – that is the beauty of outdoor group! To run a successful outdoor therapy group, each member should be able to participate in a 2-3 child to 1 adult ratio while in the woods.

When is the group offered?
The group is currently offered for 8-week sessions, 2 hours per week and on the same day each week.  The sessions approximate start dates are typically in May and end at the end of October or early November.

How many kids will be in each group?
The groups are limited to 5-6 kids in each session and a licensed occupational therapist runs the group each week. Spots fill quickly so if you are interested, please be sure to get in touch soon!

Will my insurance cover the cost of the group?
Unfortunately, no. Insurance does not cover group services. Please call the office or email to obtain current pricing and payment options!