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

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

Structured Summertime Activities

06/04/2015 | Published by: Cindi Paschall

Many children and adults with and without disability labels have a hard time when they don’t have a set schedule. During the school year, a student’s day is structured with class schedules, after-school activities, homework, and a regular bedtime. Summertime leaves many hours and many days unstructured of any regular events. Some parents quickly realize that scheduling regular activities and filling the summer calendar helps their child function better.

Things to think about when choosing outings and activities:

  • How much support will my child need to complete or participate in these activities?
  • Who or what can provide that support? (a friend, a picture schedule, specific rules, direct feedback, etc.)
  • Is the time of day and the duration of time okay for my child?

You can choose day camps or overnight camps. There are several options for camps in our region. Find camps by searching for camps on the Find Services, Groups & Events page on this website.

Another option is taking classes at a local recreational center. Centers usually offer a variety of activities or classes such as sports, cooking, computer, art, etc.

Volunteering is another fun idea. Volunteering is not only a planned activity but often will mean learning new skills. You can call local hospitals, libraries, animal shelters, or food pantries to ask about volunteer jobs.

Many local community and faith-based groups offer summer programs. Some occur in the morning; others are in the evening. Check the group’s websites or marquee signs or call their office to learn about attending or volunteering.  Find summer programs on the Find Services, Groups & Events page on this website.

You can plan a weekly meetup with a friend. Meet-ups can be at a restaurant, a park, your home, the friend’s home, or at the movie theatre or bowling alley. A simple phone call or email to discuss details makes this a good way to add fun into someone’s day.

A weekly trip to the library is an inexpensive way to spend time in the summer. The library offers computers and internet service. They also have books, magazines, movies, and CDs. The library is a great way to explore new interests and to practice new skills like talking to people, using the computer library system, and checking out materials.

Playing at the park, going for walks, or shooting hoops in the driveway are other fun summer activities. Exercise, fresh air, and sunshine are good for our bodies. If your child is sensitive to heat and/or sun, then go outdoors early in the morning hours. Be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.

Have a fun, scheduled summer!