In our house, table-top activities are a primary entertainment for our little girl. She has many diagnoses, but her physical disability makes everyday childhood activities a challenge. Her main form of mobility is her wheelchair.
Children who can walk, run, and climb have so many opportunities to be creative in their play. I want to give the same opportunity to our girl, but it takes a little more thinking and planning to come up with ideas for her to express her creativity.
Arts-and-crafts is a wonderful way for children to express themselves and be creative. It is also a great table-top activity. There are a few supplies that are essential to keep on hand in order to create many different types of activities.
Paint. You can never have too much; keep it on hand. There are many types of paints and it is personal preference which kinds you want. There is finger paint, tempera powder paint, and pre-mixed washable paint.
Other necessary craft staples to keep on hand include construction paper, glue, scissors, Play-Doh, and lots of different stickers.
One of the specific art activities that our girl enjoys is “sticker art.” She gets a blank piece of paper—any color that she chooses—and stickers. She then picks the stickers she wants and places them on the paper to make a great picture. This activity works on fine motor skills while having fun.
Another one of her favorites is free painting. She gets a plain piece of paper and can create any picture she wants with paints. It can be brush painting, sponge painting, or even finger painting! This one might get a bit messy, but is so good to foster creativity.
Using the scissors to cut random paper shapes and then glue them onto paper is also a popular activity. Play Doh is one of the best expressive activities. She can pound, knead, and roll the clay. Sometimes we add science into the mix and make homemade Play-Doh.
There are so many different, simple arts-and-crafts activities that can be planned from the essential supply list. Arts and crafts time has become part of our girl’s everyday routine and is truly one of her favorite times of the day.
There are a lot of great ideas on the internet, also. Google “arts and crafts for children with disabilities.”
You can also search for creative events in your area in the Services, Groups and Events page on this website.
We have all found ourselves, at one point or another, comparing our child or our situation to another. The grass is always greener and you want what you can’t have—all phrases we have heard. Sometimes we must remind ourselves that we are all doing the best we can and we need to support one another and focus on the similarities, not the differences.
With every passing year in the world of being a parent of a child with special health care needs, you have the day to day struggles, the fun holidays, and some surprises. Good and bad.