The Great Outdoors: Recreation Ideas for Special Needs Children

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There’s no better time to soak up the sunshine in the great outdoors than the summer. Every summer, kids run and jump on playgrounds, play hopscotch and build sandcastles on beaches across the country. But, for parents of special needs children, it’s not all fun in the sun. Finding fun outdoors activities for their kids can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.

Here are some great ways to have fun with your special needs kids this summer:

Summer Camps

Parents can’t be with their kids at all hours of the day, so when you do need to head off to work or spend a morning running errands, consider summer camps for kids with special needs. There are plenty of camps in the state that are designed with the needs of your kids in mind, so you don’t have to worry about them while you’re away. Summer camps will help kids with special needs develop social skills, meet other children and get some exercise, too!

Dig Up Fossils

Has your kid always dreamed of being Indiana Jones? Collect rocks in the backyard and paint them bright colors. Then, hide them in a sandbox or on the shores of a local beach. Bring a shovel, bucket and brush and let your child with special needs play archeologist for the day as you uncover the painted rocks that you’ve buried beneath the sand. This is a fun, creative way to let your child use his or her imagination while also enjoying the great outdoors.

Build A Tent

Collect a bunch of old blankets and sheets and head outside to build a tent with your child. Once the tent is up, bring your child’s favorite books or games inside to occupy your time in the outdoors. Having a tent not only works wonders when it comes to keeping kids with special needs entertained, but it can also be used as a quiet space for them to go when they need to relax and unwind.

Swing Away

If you don’t have a swing set in your backyard, take your child to the nearest playground and spend time pushing him or her on the swings. The motion of gliding through the air can make your child feel calm and peaceful, plus this gives you time to talk and bond together, just the two of you. Swinging on a swing set has also been known to help kids with special needs with their spatial awareness and perceptual skills, so this fun activity will definitely benefit your child.

Pick Flowers

Let kids with special needs flex their creative muscles by taking them through local parks and neighborhoods to look for beautiful flowers. Let your kids pick as many flowers as they can hold in all of the different colors of the rainbow. Then, when you get back home, each of you should grab a vase and put together a blooming bouquet that reflects your colorful personalities. This exercise will help teach kids that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors, which is a valuable lesson that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

With all of these fun activities, there’s no reason why you and your kids should stay indoors this summer. The opportunities are endless to have fun in the summer sun!

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Author:Tara Heath

Tara is a health professional in the day and freelance writer in the evenings. Her writing focuses mainly on health and parenting articles. She hopes to help people achieve their wellness goals one word at a time. Aside from health, she enjoys writing about parenting related topics and nutrition.

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