Summer time can be a challenging time for children with special needs, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Here are some refreshing ideas to make your child’s summertime more fun and interactive!
Garden Water Park
Create a fun time in the backyard with a simple garden hose and sprinkler. Sit your child in the shade on the grass for improving sensations. If they cannot tolerate the sensation of grass use a towel. Use varying sprinkler settings to create a fun interactive, stimulating and cooling time. For more active children, use water tables, varying bucket sizes. Increase sensory perception with shaving foam on a table, rice or even make a little bit of mud! Just rinse and repeat. The goal is to help your child experience a wide variety of sensations on different part of their body to stimulate the brain to body connection.
To beat the heat for some fun indoor activity, take some time to build forts and tents indoors. Use different cushions, sheets, chairs and tables to make tents and forts with paths. The building helps use motor skills and planning skills. Crawling through different paths engages the body and the brain to map out ways to get around.
A Walk in the Park
Take your child for a walk in a park with tall trees if you are near a forest or an area with easy walking paths. Research a park that has terrain that if your child needs assistive devices to walk has smooth walking paths. If your child does not need walking assistive devices or a wheelchair, use the uneven terrain to practice balancing, making it fun hopping small rocks or tree root to tree root. Tall trees also give depth perception and spatial awareness. Plus, it’s fun to be outside in the shade of a tall tree!
A fun game to play that works on motor skills is sponge bullseye. Simple draw circles on the driveway with chalk and label 10, 20, 30 and 40 (think of the game skeeball). Now have your child play the game of throwing a wet sponge into different circles to earn points. It’s a fun wet game that builds sensation training with muscle motor planning.
There are a lot of outdoor activities that your child can do in the summer, that just need some simple adapting to your child’s needs. Get create and help your child participate with other children in the fun of summer!
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