By Brianna Siciliano
Special needs children can have loads of fun in the winter! No matter what level your child is at, you can find creative, exciting activities that your child will love to do. Participating in winter activities––and taking loads of pictures and videos to document your child’s activities––is a great way to help your child grow both mentally and physically, and to create great memories to cherish forever! The winter season does not have to be a time to constantly worry; it can be a memorable, fun-filled time of the year!
Playing in the snow is an amazing sensory activity for special needs children. Once your child is bundled up nice and warm, he or she can enjoy everything that snow has to offer. Your child will love making snow angels, snowballs, snowmen (and snow families!), and forts. Making these activities can be a long process, so make sure to take it easy on your child. Depending on how many inches of snow is on the ground, walking in the snow can take a lot of endurance. Make sure to take breaks and enjoy winter treats, including hot cocoa, marshmallows or cookies decorated as snowmen, and candy canes!
Another fun and safe snow activity is snow painting. By filling squirt bottles with water that has been dyed with food coloring, your child will be able to create artwork right on your snowy lawn! This activity is great for kids no matter what their mobility levels are; if your child is in a wheelchair, have him or her paint on the snow from your porch. Children will always remember fun memories like painting the snow.
If it is frigid outside and you want to keep your child entertained in the house, keep your child busy with cooking. Cooking keeps your child engaged and busy, and at the same time, your child will be helping you out! For fun that might turn out a bit messy (in the best way), make desserts with your child. Cooking fun and delicious desserts like chocolate coated pretzels, and topping the pretzels off with colorful sprinkles, will satisfy your child’s desire to play with food.
Another great indoor activity with special needs children is creating arts and crafts based on their favorite aspects of winter. If your child is mesmerized by snowmen, it will be fun to recreate snowmen indoors with play doh. If your child loves snowflakes, help your child make snowflakes out of paper and decorate your home with these homemade snowflakes. If your child loves watching the snow fall, grab some crayons and paper and draw yourselves playing in the snow. Being creative indoors can be just as fun as being creative outdoors!
Whatever you do this winter with your special needs child, make sure to enjoy the moment. Wonderful memories last a lifetime, and seeing the smile on your child’s face will make the winter weather worthwhile!
By Brianna Siciliano