With winter in full swing, it’s a great time to set up some fun activities for your special needs child! Here are a few sensory and physical play ideas that are great to do with your child during the cold winter months.
Snow painting: Tobogganing, making snowballs, and building snowmen are always fun and great for sensory play. It is also a good way to incorporate physical activity in to your child’s routine and improve the functioning of their trunk. But try changing it up with snow painting once in a while! Great for bringing out the creativity in any child, all you need is the snow as your canvas and a few squirt bottles. Just fill the bottles with water and food coloring and you’re all set. Your kids can paint away on the snow and refine their motor skills at the same time.
Slime: Another great activity for stimulating your child’s senses is by making your own slime at home! Just mix 1½ cups of clear glue and 1½ cups of liquid starch together in a bowl and add a bit of food coloring. You could also separate the slime into different bowls and add a different food coloring to each to make a rainbow of colors to play with! See the full tutorial at Tot Treasures.
Ice marbles: This is another fun idea to try outdoors! Squeeze a few drops of food coloring into an empty balloon and then fill with water. Make sure to close the balloons tightly and leave them out in the subzero weather (you can just toss them in the snow) to freeze overnight. After they’re frozen, snip and peel off the balloon cover and voila! You’ve got large colorful ice marbles your child can build or play with outside.
Indoor Snowmen: If you don’t live anywhere near snow or it’s just too cold for your little one to handle, here’s one way you can ‘recreate’ snow play. Take any box or container that you have and pour 2 boxes of cornstarch into it. Add about a can of shaving cream and have your child mix it together with their hands until it turns into a crumbly texture. If your child is unable to make a ‘snowball’ out of the mixture because it’s not sticky enough, try adding more shaving cream. Add some small sticks or leaves from outside for them to build with. You could also gather any loose buttons, clothespins, and string that you have lying around and build some snowmen with them. Now your child can play in the ‘snow’ safely indoors! See the full tutorial at Modern Parents Messy Kids.
Waterbeads: Your little ones will love waterbeads! They’re colorful, squishy, and great for sensory and motor skill development! You can buy a pack from your local toy store or online. The beads are hard at first, but leave them in water and watch them grow! The beads will absorb the water and swell to a perfect grabbing size for your children. Once they are full of water, you can do all sorts of things with them. Throw them in to the tub during bath time, put them in a large bowl of water to play with, play color recognition games, and more! For more ideas on what to do with waterbeads, check out this great post by Artful Parent.
What other fun winter activities do you do with your child? Let us know in the comments section below! And don’t forget to share this article with your friends and families!