Now that summer weather is here, you and your family don’t want to stay cooped up indoors all season. However, if you’re having trouble finding family-friendly activities for children of all ability levels, it might seem like playing indoors is all you can do. Get outdoors with these fun and unique ways you can help children with special needs stay active and engaged with the whole family this summer.
Going to the pool is a quintessential summer activity for many families. If you’re looking for the perfect way to keep your kids active and stay cool on a hot day, consider visiting your local pool. Many public pools offer wheelchair lifts and ground-level entrances for children of different ability levels. Zero-depth pool entrances are also helpful for introducing young children to the water and for those who may be afraid of it.
Take a Field Trip
Just because school’s out for the summer doesn’t mean you have to put a pause on learning. Encourage your child’s interest in their favorite school subjects by visiting a museum, zoo, aquarium, gallery, or other location this summer. If your child loves science, consider visiting your local field museum to explore a variety of subjects. Walking or wheeling around from exhibit to exhibit will help your children stay active without feeling like exercising. Many modern museums and even outdoor venues—especially those in more populated cities—offer wheelchair-accessible ramps, paths, and railings for easy access for all patrons.
Try Trampoline Jumping
Trampoline jumping can be an effective exercise for children with special needs as it helps work for several muscle groups while providing all the fun of playtime. While elevated trampolines aren’t suitable for all kids, many trampoline parks offer ground-level bouncing options. You can also find mini trampolines that feature handrails and padded guards.
Create a Play Space at Home
Sensory activities are so important for children with autism and sensory processing disorders. Sensory playrooms combine the physical benefits of playing on a playground with the added sensory benefits and accessibility. Find a local sensory gym or create your own personal play space at home—you can install a sensory gym or create a sensory playroom at home with the right equipment and installations. This way, you can create a safe space for your children to learn, play, and stay active right at home.
Try these fun activities to help your child with special needs stay active this summer. You can even use these tips year-round by finding indoor play spaces and field trip destinations.