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Ahren Hoffman
BY Ahren Hoffman

10 Spring Activities for Children with Special Needs

Spring brings a reason to get outside! Stored energy from the never ending winter inside can finally be released outside in the fresh springtime air. This article includes activities for outdoor fun and games when the sun is shining but if spring showers come and try to rain on the parade, these outdoor activities can be played indoors too!

5 Outdoor Spring Activities

1. Outdoor Miniature Golf Course

Gather all of your outdoor playthings to create a putt-putt adventure park in your own backyard! Some toy ideas to gather: pool toys, sand toys, jump ropes, hula hoops, ride on toys and more. Bury plastic cups in the yard as the holes (with parent permission) or cut off the bottom of 2-liter pop bottles to create an archway and stand them up on the grass for putting.

2. Scavenger Hunt

Use a camera or smartphone to take pictures of items in nature! This is a great way to leave nature be while exploring all there is to see. Create a scavenger hunt list including items such as pine cones, flowers, four leaf clovers, etc. or make a “themed” hunt by taking pictures of as many different green or red nature items as possible. This could be done on teams to compete and compare!

3. Chalk Scenes

Draw scenes with chalk on the ground like a kitchen table and chairs or a tulip garden and take pictures from above to make it look like the kids are interacting within the scenes. Incorporate real toys into the pictures like a scooter on the tulip path. For example, lay the scooter on its side and have the child lay on their side like they would be riding the scooter.

4. Outdoor Quiet Space

Create a space outside in a secluded area of the yard. Fill it with cushions and blankets to make it cozy. Drape a tarp or stick umbrellas in the grass to create a private space. Add buckets or tubs of different outdoor textures like sand, water and rocks for kids to feel with feet and hands. Bring in some pots with mint leaves and flowers to delight the olfactory senses too!

5. Bring Indoor Games Out

Get creative and use your outdoor toys to recreate indoor board games like checkers, twister and tic tac toe! For example, use pool noodles and jump ropes to create a tic tac toe pattern on the ground and collect rocks for the o’s and twigs for the x’s.

5 Indoor Spring Games

6. Indoor Miniature Golf Course

Gather all of your indoor play things to create a putt-putt adventure park in your own living room! Some item ideas to gather: potted plants, pillows, toys, blankets, construction sets and more. Lay a cup on its side for putting practice.

7. Scavenger Hunt

Use a camera or smartphone to take pictures of items around the house! Create a scavenger hunt list including items such as a penny, shoes, TV remote, etc. or make the scavenger hunt into a game of chores by taking pictures of items that have been cleaned up on the list like the playroom, bedroom or bookshelf. This could be done on teams to compete and compare!

8. Paper Drawings

Draw scenes with markers, colored pencils, crayons, etc. onto large butcher paper like a kitchen table and chairs or a tulip garden and take pictures from above to make it look like the kids are interacting within the scenes. Incorporate real items into the pictures like a water can being used to tend to the tulips. For example, have the child lay on their side like they would be standing and hold the watering can over the tulips.

9. Indoor Quiet Space

Create a space inside in a quiet area of the house. Fill it with cushions and blankets to make it cozy. Drape a blanket over the area to create a private space. Add quiet time activities to the space like puzzles, books and coloring items. Incorporate a radio to play music to add an auditory element to the space!

10. Get Your Game On

Pull out all of the games in your closets even if they don’t have all the pieces! Mix and match pieces from the different games, create your own rules and have some fun.

 

Ahren Hoffman

Written on May 19, 2014 by:

Ahren Hoffman IS the manager of Industry Relations and Partnerships for the National Lekotek Center. Lekotek, is a not-for-profit and leading authority on toys and play for children with disabilities. Lekotek is dedicated to providing children of all abilities access to the benefits of play experiences. Visit www.ableplay.org for a complete listing of toys. You can also find them onFacebook
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