Summer can be a particularly stressful time for children with disabilities. For one, they will be out of school, which means there won’t be a lot to keep them occupied. For another, the heat can be unbearable, which can cause more frustration that they might not verbalize. Thankfully, there are plenty of tips and activities parents can keep in mind so that their disabled children can stay happy and healthy this summer. Here are some of them.
Keep them cool
For kids whose disabilities are more developmental or relating to communication, verbalizing that they’re having a hard time physically may not come easy. This is why as parents, we need to be proactive in ensuring that our kids are always able to tolerate the temperature of our homes.
If you’re thinking of spending a lot of time out in the yard, make sure your child is properly hydrated and that they are wearing enough sunscreen for the rest of the day. If your home’s HVAC system suddenly falls apart or your cooling unit is suddenly not working, be quick to hire the services of a trusted emergency air-conditioning (AC) provider.
Do some art activities
The last thing you want is to leave your child with an iPad and calling it a day. Allow them to stretch their physical and creative muscles by encouraging them to do some artwork. Here are some ideas for art activities they can do with you this summer:
- Finger-painting can help them strengthen their creative juices and the muscles in their arms, hands, and fingers.
- Tie-dying can help them decide on the kind of styles they want for their own clothes. Depending on the fold and the colors, tie-dyed T-shirts can help your kids express their unique personality and style and be patient with themselves. They can identify the kinds of rolls and folds that will help them achieve the look they want.
- Pottery is another way for your kid to build up their hand and arm strength and control. Touching clay can also be incredibly soothing, which can help provide a sense of calm and tranquility to your kid.
- If you have a driveway, sidewalk chalk art can also be a wonderful way to encourage creativity and fun. Encourage your kids to practice their drawing and handwriting by giving your driveway a much-needed upgrade.
- Create a scrapbook. You can use child-friendly scissors and materials to ensure that your kids won’t be harmed by the products you use, and you will also be teaching your child the value of preserving our most treasured memories.
Go on a nature walk
If your child loves being around trees, plants, and wood animals, consider taking them on a nature walk near your home. You can also encourage them to do some tasks, like taking pictures, picking their favorite flowers, and naming the types of trees you come across. Bring along a basket where you can place the flowers you collect, and once you’re done, create some handmade bouquets with gift tags and send them to your family members and friends.
Build a water park in the yard
Remember the importance of keeping your kid cool this summer? Consider turning your yard into an epic water park, whether you have a swimming pool or not. You don’t need to go to an amusement park or resort to play in the pool during the summer. All you need is a gardening hose, a stock tank pool or a kiddie pool, some massive tarps, buckets and buckets of water, and some water guns, and you and your kids will surely be having a grand time. Just make sure to keep your eye on your child at all times, especially if they don’t know how to swim.
Set up an indoor camping trip
If your child has a hard time adjusting to unexpected things, like a big trip somewhere or a changing routine, consider setting up an indoor camping trip for them. You can tell them about it days and even weeks in advance, and tell them you will set up a tent and some string lights in the living room. Make some S’mores and share some stories. Just because it’s difficult to travel, it doesn’t mean your kid has to miss out on the fun of camping.
Every child with a disability has their own unique personality, interests, likes, dislikes, and fears. Make sure to take these into account as you plan a fun summer for them. Good luck and have fun!