Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

Sensory Staycations for Kids with Disabilities

06/09/2015 | Published by: Michelle Hicks

School’s out for summer and the question arises, “What are we going to do with the kids?”

Water play is always a hit. Turn the backyard into your own mini water park.  Set up “water rides” including: small splash pool, water table, a garden sprinkler to run through. Include an attachment, like a beach ball sprinkler, or other water sprinkler toy.  If your child’s tolerance for water play is low, let them sit on your lawn and create a variety of sprays for them to experience using a garden hose.  If they are sensitive to grass, use a shower curtain or towel for a more comfortable place to sit.

Make “I-Spy” bottles.  Here’s how:  carefully peel any packaging stickers off of a water bottle, empty all the water, and make sure it is completely dry inside. Lay out various trinkets you have collected from around the house (such as buttons, toy animals, shells, etc.).  Take a clear picture of the items that are going to go into the bottle. This is optional, to use if you want your children to have a little guide of the items they are looking for.  Fill the clean water bottle with all your little trinkets. Use a funnel to pour rice into the bottle over the top of the trinkets. Glue the lid on securely. Print out the picture you took of your trinkets for your children to see the items they are searching for!  If you have time to laminate it or print it out on thick glossy paper, it will hold up better!

Sloppy sensory activities can be a lot of fun.  Play some “goopy” activities outside that will help your child to integrate their senses. Spray an outside table with shaving cream and let your child smear it around or fill a bin with rice and let your little ones dig their fingers in. Lastly, create a mud pit to roll around in. All you need afterward is a hose! These types of sensory activities have many benefits. They reduce tactile sensitivity, build fine motor skills and may even have immunity-building properties.

When is the last time you built a tent? Make “the best tent ever” by pulling out all your blankets or sheets and chairs and use them to build a tent.  Tent play can occupy your children for hours. It may also be a great resource to soothe a child, providing a hide-out or quiet place. Place a bean bag chair inside along with books and a flashlight.  You can also make a fun ball pit by filling an inexpensive tent with plastic balls!

Many kids love to play, “there’s a dinosaur in my backyard!” Fill a backyard sandbox or plastic container with sand and bury some “fossils” (plastic dinosaurs, small toys, etc.). Provide your child with a small shovel and bucket to dig up these archeological finds. Afterward, you can dust them off with an old paintbrush or toothbrush, just like Indiana Jones. You and your child can take turns hiding and discovering these wonderful fossils. You can also work on counting and grouping them once you have collected them all.

For even more summer fun ideas, you can search this site for local events to attend at Find Services, Groups & Events