Friendship Circle Blog: 10 Spring Activities for Children with Special Needs

May 22, 2014 at 9:30 AM Leave a comment

May 2014

 Spring brings a reason to get outside! Stored energy from the never ending winter inside can finally be released outside in the fresh springtime air. This article includes activities for outdoor fun and games when the sun is shining but if spring showers come and try to rain on the parade, these outdoor activities can be played indoors too!

5 Outdoor Spring Activities:
  1. Outdoor Miniature Golf Course-Gather all of your outdoor play things to create a putt-putt adventure park in your own backyard! Some toy ideas to gather: pool toys, sand toys, jump ropes, hula hoops, ride on toys and more. Bury plastic cups in the yard as the holes (with parent permission) or cut off the bottom of 2-liter pop bottles to create an archway and stand them up on the grass for putting.
  2. Scavenger Hunt– Use a camera or smart phone to take pictures of items in nature! This is a great way to leave nature be while exploring all there is to see. Create a scavenger hunt list including items such as pine cones, flowers, four leaf clovers, etc. or make a “themed” hunt by taking pictures of as many different green or red nature items as possible. This could be done on teams to compete and compare!
  3. Chalk Scenes– Draw scenes with chalk on the ground like a kitchen table and chairs or a tulip garden and take pictures from above to make it look like the kids are interacting within the scenes. Incorporate real toys into the pictures like a scooter on the tulip path. For example, lay the scooter on its side and have the child lay on their side like they would be riding the scooter.
  4. Outdoor Quiet Space– Create a space outside in a secluded area of the yard. Fill it with cushions and blankets to make it cozy. Drape a tarp or stick umbrellas in the grass to create a private space. Add buckets or tubs of different outdoor textures like sand, water and rocks for kids to feel with feet and hands. Bring in some pots with mint leaves and flowers to delight the olfactory senses too!
  5. Bring Indoor Games Out– Get creative and use your outdoor toys to recreate indoor board games like checkers, twister and tic tac toe! For example, use pool noodles and jump ropes to create a tic tac toe pattern on the ground and collect rocks for the o’s and twigs for the x’s.
5 Outdoor Spring Activities:
  1. Outdoor Miniature Golf Course-Gather all of your outdoor play things to create a putt-putt adventure park in your own backyard! Some toy ideas to gather: pool toys, sand toys, jump ropes, hula hoops, ride on toys and more. Bury plastic cups in the yard as the holes (with parent permission) or cut off the bottom of 2-liter pop bottles to create an archway and stand them up on the grass for putting.
  2. Scavenger Hunt– Use a camera or smart phone to take pictures of items in nature! This is a great way to leave nature be while exploring all there is to see. Create a scavenger hunt list including items such as pine cones, flowers, four leaf clovers, etc. or make a “themed” hunt by taking pictures of as many different green or red nature items as possible. This could be done on teams to compete and compare!
  3. Chalk Scenes– Draw scenes with chalk on the ground like a kitchen table and chairs or a tulip garden and take pictures from above to make it look like the kids are interacting within the scenes. Incorporate real toys into the pictures like a scooter on the tulip path. For example, lay the scooter on its side and have the child lay on their side like they would be riding the scooter.
  4. Outdoor Quiet Space– Create a space outside in a secluded area of the yard. Fill it with cushions and blankets to make it cozy. Drape a tarp or stick umbrellas in the grass to create a private space. Add buckets or tubs of different outdoor textures like sand, water and rocks for kids to feel with feet and hands. Bring in some pots with mint leaves and flowers to delight the olfactory senses too!
  5. Bring Indoor Games Out– Get creative and use your outdoor toys to recreate indoor board games like checkers, twister and tic tac toe! For example, use pool noodles and jump ropes to create a tic tac toe pattern on the ground and collect rocks for the o’s and twigs for the x’s.
 This article was written by Ahren Hoffman, National Lekotek Center Manager of Industry Relations and Partnerships as a contribution to Friendship Circle blog. Lekotek, is a not-for-profit and leading authority on toys and play for children with disabilities. Lekotek is dedicated to providing children of all abilities access to the benefits of play experiences. Visit www.ableplay.org for a complete listing of toys and find us on Facebook!

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