Top 3 Fun Special Needs Activities
Who doesn’t love to have fun? We know that from working with the special needs population that they love fun! That’s why we wanted to include some fun special needs activities that are fun, and you can do almost anywhere – and they won’t even realize they are exercising! Here are the top three fun special needs activities that we use with our clients.
1.) Cone Drills
There are so many different fun special needs activities that you can do with these cones. The first one we do is set up matching cones across the room. We have our participants start at one end of the cone and give them commands to run, skip, jump, and hop to the other cone. To engage their brain, we will have them touch the cone with certain fingers or perform an exercise over the cone. As an example, Joe starts on cone A and hops over to cone B. When Joe gets to side B, he must squat down and touch the cone with all five fingers on his left hand. After doing this, he must hop back to cone A. You can get creative here, and everyone loves it! We buy our cones on Amazon and use the 50-Pack Kevenz 2 inch High Soccer disc Cones, Multicolor Cone for Agility Training, Soccer, Football, Kids, Field Marker.
The special needs population are some of the best dancers in town. When it comes to dancing, they have no shame, and anything goes! Crank up some dance music and watch them go. Here are some good dance songs that you can try:
- Uptown Funk by Kidz Bop Kids
- Cupid Shuffle – Cupid Shuffle DJ’s
- Macarena – Macarena Party
- Electric Slide – Electric Slide Party
Add functional movements to the dancing to make it even more of a workout. There is also an amazing organization called Powered 2 Move that hosts dance classes for special needs – check them out and consider trying their classes. They are free and have many other fun special needs activities.
3.) Agility Ladder
We’ve talked about the speed agility in a previous blog post titled top three exercise equipment for special needs. The agility ladder is fun and builds confidence faster than any exercise because participants can see improvement quickly. Here are a few speed agility ladder exercises to try at home:
- Walk or Run – One Foot Per Rung
- Bunny Hop (Hop with both feet in each rung)
- Two Feet In, Two Feet Out Jump
- Lateral Hop – Two Feet Per Rung
- Single-Leg Variations
As you can see, there are many fun special needs activities that you can do while promoting exercise. These are all inexpensive and can be done in the comfort of your own home. We encourage parents to get active with their kids to set an example and encourage them in this lifestyle.
Inclusive Adventures: Fun Special Needs Activities for All
Engaging in enjoyable activities is a universal right, and individuals with special needs deserve vibrant and inclusive options that cater to their unique interests and abilities. Explore a world of fun with these specially curated activities designed to bring joy, build skills, and foster a sense of community.
Adaptive sports go beyond the conventional, offering a diverse range of activities that cater to individuals with varying abilities. From the dynamic and fast-paced nature of wheelchair basketball to the therapeutic and inclusive environment of adaptive swimming, these sports are designed to accommodate and celebrate unique strengths.
Participation in adaptive sports is not limited by physical or cognitive differences; instead, it embraces and harnesses these diversities. Wheelchair basketball, for instance, enables individuals to showcase their agility, teamwork, and strategic thinking, creating an environment where everyone can actively contribute to the game.
Inclusive swimming programs provide a supportive space for individuals of all abilities to enjoy the benefits of water-based activities. Whether it’s refining swimming skills or simply relishing the buoyancy of water, adaptive swimming fosters a sense of freedom and accomplishment.
One notable aspect of adaptive sports is the availability of local programs facilitated by organizations committed to inclusivity. These programs extend beyond the sporting arena, fostering a community where individuals with diverse abilities can connect, build friendships, and engage in physical activities tailored to their specific needs.
Art and Creativity Workshop
Engaging in artistic endeavors transcends mere creative expression; it becomes a powerful avenue for individuals with diverse abilities to discover and showcase their unique talents. The canvas of possibilities expands in adaptive art workshops, where the focus goes beyond the final masterpiece, emphasizing the journey of exploration and self-discovery. Participants, regardless of their physical or cognitive differences, are encouraged to delve into various mediums, be it painting, drawing, or crafting, offering a rich tapestry for self-expression.
In these workshops, the supportive environment is carefully curated to foster confidence and creativity. Trained facilitators understand the importance of tailoring activities to individual needs, ensuring that each participant can engage in the artistic process comfortably. Whether it’s the tactile joy of sculpting, the vibrant strokes of a paintbrush, or the intricate details of drawing, adaptive art workshops celebrate the diverse ways individuals can communicate and express themselves. Through this inclusive approach, participants not only develop artistic skills but also gain a sense of accomplishment, contributing to enhanced self-esteem and overall well-being.
Sensory Play Sessions
Meticulously designed sensory play caters to diverse sensory needs, recognizing their pivotal role in overall development. These sessions transform play into a multisensory journey, fostering holistic growth. Activities like textured playdough and sensory bins create a meaningful exploration for individuals with special needs.
In the realm of textured playdough, the tactile sensations offer a unique avenue for sensory exploration. Additionally, the playdough’s flexible consistency delivers a pleasurable tactile experience, fostering fine motor skill development while also enabling creative expression. Moreover, sensory bins filled with materials like rice, sand, or beans offer a dynamic space for individuals to immerse themselves in various textures. This, in turn, fosters tactile sensitivity and aids in sensory integration.
Music and Movement
The music and movement activities are carefully designed to create inclusive spaces where individuals of all abilities can participate and thrive. Whether through dance, rhythm, or drumming, participants not only engage in enjoyable activities but also embark on a journey of self-discovery, communication, and holistic well-being. The transformative power of music and movement lies in their ability to go beyond the surface, resonating with individuals in ways that nurture their physical, emotional, and social dimensions.
Guided nature walks, adaptive hiking trails, or visits to botanical gardens offer opportunities for individuals with special needs to connect with the outdoors while accommodating specific accessibility requirements.
Storytelling and Drama
Engaging in storytelling and drama activities promotes creativity and communication skills. To ensure everyone’s comfortable participation and expression, we can make adaptations.
Inclusive Game Nights
Board games, card games, and adapted video games provide social and recreational opportunities. Emphasizing inclusivity ensures everyone can enjoy the thrill of friendly competition.
Interacting with therapy animals can be both calming and joyful. Organizations often facilitate pet therapy sessions, recognizing the positive impact on emotional well-being.
Accessible Movie Nights
Cooking is not only a life skill but also a delightful activity. Adapted cooking classes with accessible kitchen setups allow individuals to learn and create tasty treats.
Tailoring activities to diverse abilities fosters an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive. Whether physical, artistic, or recreational, these activities contribute to building a more diverse and enriched community for individuals with special needs.