With the summer in full swing, you may be wondering what options your special needs child has for staying engaged. It can be challenging, but there are easy, affordable ways to stay home and stay entertained.
Not sure where to get started? We have some suggestions.
Fun Summer Plan Ideas for Special Needs Children Stuck at Home
Here are our top fun summer plan ideas for special needs children who are stuck at home.
- Indoor Camping
If your child really enjoys the outdoors and camping but the weather won’t allow you to go outside, consider trying indoor camping.
You can be as elaborate with this as you would like, whether that means putting up an outdoor tent in your basement, roasting marshmallows in an indoor fireplace, etc. Some other easy ways to make this as fun as possible include:
- Making your child’s favorite “camping” food – hotdogs, burgers, etc.
- Don’t forget the s’mores supplies!
- Using one of these star projectors to make the ceiling look like the night sky.
Depending on your child’s intellectual disability/developmental disability, there may be certain activities that they would prefer over others. Younger children may appreciate games that involve fishing or catching bugs, while older children may just enjoy watching movies or reading books in the tent.
- Arts and Crafts Show
Keeping hands and minds busy while also allowing your child to express their creativity through art is an excellent way to pass time. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Then, once your children have created their masterpieces, consider having an art show with what they have created. You can hang them up down a hallway or all over the walls of a specific room, have the children give them titles, light them up, and show them off to the other family members. It’s a great way to show off their art and keep them busy for hours.
If you have the space for it, an outdoor garden is a great way to pass the summer months. Choose local produce, herbs, flowers, etc. that flourish in your area during this season and help your child create their own small garden.
Allowing them to start a garden from seeds and see how their plants grow and take shape over time is an excellent way to engage your child and introduce them to the wonders of new life.
Gardening has many benefits for children with intellectual disabilities and/or developmental disabilities. These include enhanced creativity, better motor skills, increased self-confidence, and improved social skills. It’s also a great way for an angry, frustrated, or sad child to reduce their stress and anxiety.
For special needs children who are interested in animals, consider finding local outdoor petting zoos or a local farm to visit. Petting, feeding, talking to, and caring for animals is another great way to relieve stress and anxiety, and a great learning experience.
If you have pets that your child enjoys, consider an activity with them. Whether that is a dog walk, helping clean out a fish tank, etc. there are abundant options for your special needs child to get more involved with the animals in their life.
- Sensory Bins
Last but not least, we have sensory bins.
What is a sensory bin? It is usually a plastic tub, box, or other container filled with a variety of objects and materials that are selected to stimulate the senses.
For these, you will simply need to obtain a few small boxes and create different themes for each one. You could make one for the beach with sand, shells, sand molds, etc. or an underwater setting with fish and crab toys, blue beads (or other texturally pleasing substances) for the water, and sand.
The sky is the limit. Consider your child’s special interests and use them to create sensory bins that they will enjoy.
Learn More with Moms in Motion
Interested in learning more about developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and/or activities for special needs children? Look no further than Moms in Motion!