Summer is here! There are so many great activities that can be done when the weather is sunny and warm outside. Here are some fun activities that can be done with special needs children that can potentially help them improve their social skills, motor skills and cognitive abilities. If you have more fun activities you would like to share with other special needs parents that read this blog please feel free to leave a comment below or post them on Achieve Beyond Pediatric Therapy & Autism Services's Facebook page
- Dig for worms
This a great exercise to improve a special needs child’s fine motor skills. Re-home the worms next to that seedling
you planted. The child can have fun getting their hands dirty and at the same time help your garden at the same time.
- Build a “fairy house”
Create a miniature “fairy house” outside with your own yards’ twigs, pebbles, pine cones, bark, leaves and any other materials you can find in your backyard. This is a fun and creative activity your special needs child will love.
- Hide and Go Seek
Play hide-and-go-seek outside in your yard or on a playground with your child to teach them how to remain calm while looking for you. This will definitely help in crowded real world social settings in the future.
- Paint with ice cubes
This is a easy and original activity recommended by occupational therapists for sensory integration. All you do is mix watercolor paint with water, fill an ice-cube tray (any shape) and freeze. After this you can apply the cube paints on paper and even fabric.
- Make fruit kabobs
An excellent summer sensory activity that is tasty as well! Dice up your child’s favorite fruit into pieces (apples, bananas, strawberries, etc) then help your child slide these pieces of fruit onto a skewer or popsicle stick to enjoy.
- Create fresh lemonade
There is nothing like fresh lemonade in the summer. Help your child cut create 1 cup of lemon juice (5-6 cut lemons) , measure ½ cup of sugar, crushed ice and 4 cups of water. Place these in the blender and serve over ice. It will be worth the preparation
- Pick some flowers
This is a great pay it forward activity. Have you and your child pick any flowers you can find in the yard or at a park (dandelions and clovers are OK) and once they are all collected have them give the “bouquet” to someone who isn’t expecting them. It will make that person’s day and encourage social interaction for the child.
- Go to a playground in a different neighborhood
This is an overlooked activity that can have a great benefit on the child. Instead of going to the same playground take a longer walk or drive to one in a different part of town. They may have a play pieces that allow them to work on different motor skills, they can meet new children for exciting social interactions and explore new parts of their social setting
- Cloud watching
Lie in the grass and look at the clouds. take turns looking for shapes animals, pictures or any other you can find in the clouds as they move and sway. This is a great mental exercise for you and your child.
- Go under a sensory friendly sprinkler
The streams from lawn sprinklers may be too strong for kids with sensory issues, but some special sprinklers are light—and yes, they wiggle all over the place. These easily attach to a water hose and provide hours of fun.
Have a question? Want to suggest more? Leave a comment at the bottom of this blog or email