Helping kids build motor, emotional and social skills in the Bay Area 

bearfooT

Occupational Therapy

Wondering

about outdoor OT during

COVID-19?

Foggy Forest

Does your child...

struggle with

motor skills?

spend

all their time indoors?

seem addicted to 

screens?

have difficulty making and keeping friends?

Sunrise

WE CAN HELP

At Bearfoot OT, we know how hard it is to see your child struggle with everyday tasks. We take therapy out of the clinic and into the wild to help children become

stronger 

braver

calmer

and more empathetic 

We offer individual therapy sessions, nature-based social groups, and summer camp.

It's therapy with a nature twist!

ABOUT bearfoot

Kids + outdoors + occupational therapy = Bearfoot OT!

 

We offer outdoor 1:1 therapy sessions, nature-based social groups and summer camps so your kids can reach their goals and potential.

 

Pediatric OT helps kids improve gross motor and fine motor skills, self regulation, sensory processing, as well as increasing creativity and imagination! 

 

Bearfoot's sessions are held in San Francisco (Glen Park Canyon and the Presidio) and San Rafael (China Camp) in rain, shine, warm or cold. All sessions are led by a skilled occupational therapist. 

ABOUT Marika

Marika is a pediatric occupational therapist living and working in San Francisco. After years of working in traditional OT settings, Marika finally decided to take therapy OUTDOORS! 

 

She started Bearfoot OT to help children build skills with nature as the facilitator for real, concrete change. She can now be found working with kids and families outside in parks around the Bay Area.

 

Marika has a B.A. in African/African American Studies from Dartmouth College and a M.S. in Occupational Therapy from Boston University. She plays competitive ultimate frisbee internationally, and most likely can be found on her bike, running, or trying (and failing) to catch up on podcasts.

Henrik Meng

child in nature outdoor occupational therapy

We know nature matters for kids

Things are changing in the world for our kids. More structured activities during and after school, more screen time, and less time spent in -  and connecting with - nature.

 

There are numerous studies¹ that conclude there has been a sharp decrease in outside play time for children in recent decades. This is especially noted for children living in cities and urban environments.

 

This is closely related to children  spending more time with indoor sedentary play activities, usually involving a screen. If kids are able to be outside, it is most often on a sidewalk, sports field, recess black top, or a playground.

 

But being outside in those spaces is much different than being in the outdoors, deep in the woods or playing in a stream.

 

Playing in the natural world, beyond the wood chips of playgrounds or turf of soccer fields, has a dramatic effect on children's physical, mental and emotional health as well as their ability to explore, create, and imagine. It is essential for healthy and balanced child development.

It is not as easy as it should be for our kids to play outdoors in nature. There are many types of barriers - time, access, perceived and actual risk, neighborhood safety, and/or the fact that Fortnite seems like the only thing your child wants to do.

 

At Bearfoot OT, we are here to help connect your children to nature and help create the space for them to grow, experiment, play and learn in the beautiful natural spaces we have access to in the Bay Area. 

interested in volunteering?