Nature-based outdoor therapy is a growing trend in pediatric healthcare, combining the health benefits of nature with skilled therapy services. Outdoor Kids Occupational Therapy is a thriving nature-based pediatric therapy practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a leader in the nature-based therapy movement. Started in 2015 (and still going strong), they are launching their second branch of the practice here in Madison, Wisconsin this fall!
Outdoor Kids serves children ages 3-10 who face various developmental challenges, including sensory processing disorders, motor coordination difficulties, attention issues, or social-emotional challenges. All Outdoor Kids services are guided by the values of their innovative nature-based pediatric therapy model – the ConTiGO (Connection & Transformation in the Great Outdoors) Approach:
Outdoor Kids believes children need friends or family in therapy, not just the therapist.
Outdoor Kids provides therapy in small groups with peers, 100% outdoors in all kinds of weather. This allows children to practice social and play skills in real-life situations, focusing therapy on relational connection. All groups are intentionally-formed small groups of 2-5 children, led by a licensed therapist and group assistants to support the children in reaching their individual goals.
Outdoor Kids believes true transformation in therapy involves using science-backed strategies, providing comprehensive family-centered services, and fostering nature connection.
Outdoor Kids specializes in combining evidence-based therapy with the power of nature to accelerate your child’s progress toward goals. All of their services come in packages that include assessment, individualized family-centered goal setting, parent consultation calls, weekly 90-minute group therapy sessions, weekly documentation on progress, weekly group video updates, home carryover ideas, and end-of-program therapy progress reports. Outdoor Kids therapists are trained to apply the latest research in sensory integration, motor learning, and neuroscience, along with nature connection, to help your child more quickly build skills for success at school, home, and in life.
…in the Great Outdoors
Outdoor Kids believes children need more time in nature for their optimal growth and development.
Nature provides health benefits that are truly impossible to replicate in any indoor therapy setting. Mental clarity, peacefulness, attentiveness, and physical health are just a few of the research-proven benefits of spending time in nature. The natural world inspires children’s internal drive to explore, challenge their bodies, be creative, and have FUN while building skills.
Indoor pediatric clinic spaces are full of therapy equipment: plastic balance beams, swings, tactile bins, monkey bars, rock climbing walls, foam mats, and more. At Outdoor Kids, children balance on logs, lift large sticks and rocks to build forts, set up and ride on tree swings, play in real mud and water, use real tools, climb trees, roll down hills, and more…all while supported by a licensed therapist to address their individualized goals during the therapy group.
Best of all, your child can access nature at any time with you- no special clinic space needed- so carryover of skills to daily life happens more naturally.
Fall 2023 in Verona & West Madison
Fall 2023 Outdoor Kids groups will take place weekly in Verona and west Madison. If you’re interested in applying for your child to join an Outdoor Kids therapy group, you can visit their website. You can also join their Madison email list here for updates as they open new services and grow in the Madison area. They hope to see your family in the woods soon!