What Are Different Activity Therapy Ideas?

B. Miller

Activity therapy is used for people of all ages for many different reasons, from learning disabilities, to physical injuries, to mental illnesses, among others. It may be independent or group therapy, though many activity therapies are designed for groups of people. Art therapy is one of the most common activity therapy ideas; individuals receiving the therapy will generally be given a certain set of materials and asked to create something. This often allows them to express feelings they may otherwise have difficulty expressing. Music or dance therapy are other common activity therapy ideas, in addition to games, crafts, or even physical activities such as rope courses.

Music therapy may help children express themselves.
Music therapy may help children express themselves.

In specific situations, activity therapy ideas will be chosen in regard to the reason the patients are seeking treatment, as well as their ages and physical abilities. Seniors in assisted living facilities or nursing homes, for example, often participate in activity therapy as part of their day to help keep them active. This may include gentle exercise or working on crafts together, for example. Physically or developmentally disabled individuals commonly participate in art therapy or music therapy for a number of reasons, including increasing enjoyment of life, developing fine motor skills, and providing an avenue for self expression.

Activity therapy often occurs when an individual is undergoing physical therapy following a surgery, or injury.
Activity therapy often occurs when an individual is undergoing physical therapy following a surgery, or injury.

The one instance where it is more common for activity therapy to occur one-on-one is when an individual is undergoing occupational therapy or physical therapy following an illness, surgery, or injury. When kids must undergo this type of therapy, the therapist will often try to make the process fun by playing games with the child or doing specific arts and crafts projects. The child is more likely to enjoy the therapy and do it on a regular basis, making it more likely to be effective if the therapist is able to use some creative activity therapy ideas.

Therapy may include creative hobbies such as knitting.
Therapy may include creative hobbies such as knitting.

For people who are physically able yet in need of therapy for other reasons, there are additional activity therapy ideas that can be fun. Dance therapy is one option that allows people to learn new skills, get some exercise, and express themselves in a new way. Rope courses, which are a type of obstacle course, allow people to become comfortable with others, increase feelings of trust, and boost self-esteem. This may also be referred to as adventure therapy, of which there are many other possibilities. For people who struggle with talk therapy, or who simply need to supplement it, a certain type of activity therapy may be very effective.

Art therapy might help people express emotions through painting and other mediums.
Art therapy might help people express emotions through painting and other mediums.
Writing might help children express themselves in a comfortable way.
Writing might help children express themselves in a comfortable way.
Geriatric occupational therapy activities are designed to maintain average functioning in patients.
Geriatric occupational therapy activities are designed to maintain average functioning in patients.
Dance therapy helps people learn new skills and get some exercise.
Dance therapy helps people learn new skills and get some exercise.

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