Hi everyone! My name is Erin and I am the Recreational therapist here at CI! It’s February, which means that there are so many things to celebrate! Valentine’s Day, Groundhog Day, and Chinese New Year to name a few! February is also special because it is Recreational Therapy month!

So, what is Recreational Therapy exactly? According to the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification website, Recreational Therapy is a mode of therapy that uses leisure education and activities to increase the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical wellbeing of a person. Whether a person was born with a diagnosis, acquired a disability, or needs an activity to be adapted, Recreational Therapy is designed to help an individual become successful in whatever leisure interests they want to pursue! Recreational therapy incorporates a variety of different modalities such as crafts, arts, cooking, music, and dancing to help achieve their goals and improve their quality of life.

Leisure and play help children to learn about the environment around them. During play, children learn how to socialize, problem solve, and make mistakes. Play doesn’t have to be perfect! Exploring new recreational activities is a great way to help build self-esteem and confidence! According to an article by Healthline , Recreational Therapy helps increase opportunities for meaningful social interactions and can help to increase an individual’s self-confidence. Recreational Therapy strives to provide activities that can be done by kids of all abilities with things that are already in their home and can be easily incorporated into their daily schedule.  Through Recreational Therapy, we are able to explore new activities by modifying and adapting them in a way to help an individual succeed and reach their goals.

Because I love recreational therapy so much, I thought I’d share one of my favorite recreational activities with you: arts and crafts! I thought that this heart character craft was fitting for Valentine’s day as well! I love how you can express your creativity and personality through art! If you don’t have colored construction paper, you can always use plain white paper and decorate it with crayons or markers!



  • Pink Construction Paper
  • White Construction Paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Glue
  • Black Marker


Step One: Trace a heart on a piece of construction paper and cut out the heart.
Step Two: Cut out two white circles for eyes and four long, white strips of paper for arms.







Step Three: Glue the eyes on the heart. I also added black dots with a marker to make eye balls for my heart character! Complete the face by adding a smile to the heart’s face.








Step Four: Take the four long strips of white paper and fold them “accordion style” to create the arms and legs for the heart character.








Step Five: Lay out arm and leg pieces to see where you want to glue them on the heart.








Step Six: Glue the arm and leg pieces down on the heart.









Tah Dah! A super simple craft just in time for Valentine’s day. You can hang it up as a decoration or give it to someone to show how much you care about them!


Written by: Erin Glueck, MS, CTRS