How can Recreational Therapy help your child this summer?

Recreational Therapists (RTs) are experts in exploration of leisure and recreation through therapeutic activities, social interactions, games, community engagement and play!

Various techniques are used such as: safety, money management, arts and crafts, animals, drama and community outings. This skill-based therapy focuses on helping to overcome barriers to participation such as social, emotional, knowledge, physical and skill set barriers.

Exploring ways to enjoy the outdoors

Taking a child to the park may seem like a daunting task for some, especially if there are multiple children in a family, but a RT can help with that! A RT can work with children on community safety skills, building outdoor play and enhancing exploration skills in a one-on-one setting. Your child could work on crossing the street safely, identifying road signs and other community safety scenarios.

RT goal areas are created for each child’s interests and specific family requests to aid in independence in places such as the park, splash pad, bike trail or campground. These one-on-one sessions could offer time for children to practice these skills with peers in the clinic, by visiting local parks or getting an understanding of what to expect while exploring a new activity with their family.

Gaining skills in friendship

Creating and maintaining friendships is vital for overall well-being. It is so important for children and teens to understand and build the skills necessary to be a friend in order to build friendships. These skills can be built through a variety of ways, including Recreational Therapy.

Under this scope of practice, RTs help children build friendship skills through recreational activities, leisure participation, games, crafts and peer interactions. Also, maintaining friendships through adulthood is an important part of living a balanced lifestyle. Having the skills, knowledge and experience of building and maintaining friendships before adulthood begins sets a person up for success.

Friendships often also make it easier to participate in community recreation, which is a great way for an adult to feel connected to where they live.

Practicing the application of skills learned in other disciplines

Physical Therapists are experts in gross motor skills and movement. Occupational Therapists are experts in sensory needs and activities that occupy daily life. Speech and Language Pathologists are experts in communication and language development. Recreational Therapists are experts in building an independent leisure lifestyle.

Sometimes, the purpose of RT is using recreation, leisure and play is to apply the skills developed in other disciplines into their everyday life and routines. These areas include:leisure activities, play skills, friendships and community safety and involvement.

If you have any interest in learning more about Recreational Therapy at CI or if you have questions, please feel free to reach out to Ketura at

Thank you for reading,

Written By:
Ketura M. Luginbuhl, CTRS
Chloe Shutter, CTRS
Janelle Ryan, CTRS