Canyon Kids Adaptive Outdoor Adventure Programs

Canyon Kids has teamed up with Dave Ritter, Outdoor Leadership Trainer, Guide and Director of Bretton Woods Outdoor Adventure Program to create a new program called Bretton Adaptive. 

We offer one on one and small group outdoor recreational outings like kayaking, ropes course, hiking and wilderness exploration for children and teens of all abilities and needs. These outings are happening during the 2018-2019 school year, afterschool, on select weekends and days off of school. 

During the summer, we offer our Integrated Summer Outdoor Adventure Camp. This is a multi week camp where campers participate in adventures based out of Bretton Woods Recreation Center on the banks of the Potomac River in rural Maryland. This camp accepts 1-3 campers each week from June 2019-August 2019. They will be paired with a trained adventure guide and participate with similarly aged peers in Bretton Woods Outdoor Adventure Camps and Day Camp. Activities can include zip lines, giant slip and slides, hiking, kayaking and swimming. 

Please contact us for more information at or 301 523 0902.  


Oscar Nominated film and book Life, Animated is about the life of Owen Suskind. Owen was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. He lost speech and it seemed his ability to connect to others until his family started to use the very thing that he loved: Disney Animated Film. This is a beautiful story of using a child's affinity to bring us all together. Christine Sproat had the priviledge to work as Owen's OT from the time he was 5 years old starting at a Sensory Integration Camp. Owen is now in his twenties, graduated from an adaptive college program and is living on his own in a supervised communilty with his dog Guss.

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Strategies for Use in Your Classroom

by Christine Sproat MA, OTR/L & Allison Martin MS, OTR/L


Alerting and Arousing Activities

Alerting and Arousing Activities are to be used for children who seek out sensory input or are oblivious to sensory experiences in their environment. They often need to be bombarded with sensory input to actually feel something. Providing select activities with more intense sensory experiences that are consistent with the child’s sensory needs fosters socially acceptable behaviors. Participation can occur with fewer interruptions from sensory seeking or under responsive (oblivious) behavior.
  1. Loud, fast paced, rhythmic music.
  2. Bright Lighting.
  3. Spinning (in place, sit and spin, office chair, merry go round or tire swing). Allow for about 15 revolutions in one direction, take a few seconds and then spin the other direction. (It is very important to monitor spinning activities and ask child's permission before spinning).
  4. Jumping up and down (use jogging trampoline or mattress).
  5. Walking on uneven surfaces to get to and from places in the classroom by using cushions or even a long inflatable raft on the floor to walk over. Outside encourage walking on grass, sand or a ‘clatter bridge’ on the playground. 
  6. Taking frequent breaks during more difficult tasks that require sustained attention (marching, hopping, skipping, jumping and running in place).
  7. Encouraging an active recess playtime with swinging, running, sliding and climbing.
  8. Making a swing in your classroom by using a blanket and have 2 adults hold the corners and swing back and forth as well as bounce up and down.
  9. Bouncing on a therapy ball or sitting on a ball chair while doing schoolwork.
  10. Crunching on popcorn, pretzels, carrots, apples or ice chips.
  11. Jumping and crashing into pillows, comforters or mats or jumping safely off of playground equipment.
  12. Playing with messy textures, like snow paint (shaving cream and glue), gak (borax, glue and water), cornstarch and water, cooked noodles, and finger paint using hands and feet.
  13. Playing games blindfolded, such as: can you feel it-hide small squishy bugs in bean box and have kids find them or show them a car, coin or toy and ask them to find the one that matches in the bean box. 
  14. Sliding down the slides on the playground. Encouraging different positions like lying down, front forwards, backwards (with supervision).
  15. Riding toys give great linear movement and can be used for indoor gym or outdoor recess (tricycles, scooters, bikes like the ‘Skoot’).
  16. Dance-Freeze to music.
  17. Adult affect (tone of voice, facial expression) is high, happy, moving faster, a lot of praise, higher voice that is sing-songy “Oh Wow Ben!! You really are a good jumper!”.
  18. Labeling movement to encourage movement “You are bouncing!”.
  19. Hanging by arms from monkey bars with supervision then dropping to ground with supervision.
  20. Games like tug of war, or hot potato with weighted ball.
  21. A cool classroom is alerting.
  22. Providing activities to increase intensity, frequency, or duration of sensory experiences.
  23. Providing appropriate channels for needed activity and intensifying sensory aspects of task and context, such as: Alternate active and passive activities in schedule.
  24. Providing socially appropriate outlets for sensory needs, such as helping to run errands, collecting art supplies, moving chairs and desks, and helping to clean tables.
  25. Planning activities that require more sequencing after recess or physical education classes so that movement will stimulate the thinking centers of the brain.