Special needs activities, fun and games for your child!
Special needs activities
When you have a child with special needs, special needs activities are sometimes the last thing on your mind. You spend so much running to various doctors appointments that it becomes difficult to find things for your other children to do, or activities that you can do together.
Keep in mind that your special needs child, is still only a child, and wants to do things that all children do…play and have fun!
I have put together many activities that you can do with your children, whether they have special needs or not.
The best thing about these special needs activities? - They not only help your children improve their skills, but they don’t seem like work or therapy at all, they are fun, fun, fun and can be enjoyed by everyone!
Fine Motor activities
Fine motor skills are the movements of smaller muscles in our body, like fingers, toes, wrists, hands, tongue and lips.
These muscles need smaller actions to work, like picking up a pencil or licking your lips.
Children under the age of six usually progress very quickly, and it is during this time that they develop most of their fine motor skills.
However, if your child has developmental delays, it may take longer for them to master these skills, but keep in mind, it takes plenty of practice and repetition, so be patient. It may seem as though nothing is happening, and your efforts are futile, but one day everything will just ‘click’ into place, and all the time spent on special needs activities, will be worth it!
Developing fine motor skills does not have to be hard work.
Just playing with your child and having fun can go along way in both teaching them and having some great one-on-one time.
The key to improving fine motor skills is knowing how to play with your child, and which activities are best suited to improve fine motor skills:
Gross Motor activities
Gross motor skills are all about controlling the larger muscles of the body used for walking, running, sitting, crawling and other physical activities.
Your baby starts developing their gross motor muscles from birth, and as they grow they learn to sit, crawl, stand, walk and eventually run.
There are many different gross motor skills for your little one to master, like balance, posture, becoming aware of the left and right side of the body, special awareness like where his body is in space in relation to other objects.
As with any other skill, this takes time to learn, but if your child struggles with gross motor activities, they will often also struggle with fine motor skills.
If your child has special needs, and/or developmental delays, your physiotherapist will be working on all aspects of gross motor skills, but there is no reason for you not to continue, through play, to help your child further at home.
There are many different special needs activities, that you can do using items around the house.
For more gross motor activities ideas:
Speech and Language activities
Speech therapy activities, also known as oral motor exercises help your child pronounce word better and initiate speech and communication.
If your child cannot express themselves properly, this can be very frustrating for them, and they may even develop some severe self-esteem issues.
For many children, even if your child has special needs, changing and establishing new speech patterns means that speech therapy may only be temporary.
Speech therapy exercises are an invaluable way to overcome speech and communication difficulty, and there are many simple special needs activities that can help you do this at home: