Summer vacation can pose a challenge for parents of children with special needs. Without the security of daily routines and familiar faces, children with special needs can grow anxious leaving parents with the daunting task of planning meaningful activities. Whether you view summer vacation as a chance to enhance your child’s skills through academic activities or as a time for adventure and much-needed rest, these fun ideas are sure to keep your child active the whole summer long.
Smell the Roses
With parent-teacher conferences, IEP meetings, and appointments, parents rarely have time to stop and smell the roses with their children; yet, sensory exploration can be especially important for children with special needs. This summer, set aside some time to help your child explore their senses. One way to satisfy the senses is to plant something. Get a small pot, seeds, and soil, then have your child plant their favorite veggie, fruit, or flower. Not only is this a fun summer lesson, but having your little one touch, smell, see, and maybe even taste, their creation can be extremely fun and rewarding!
You could also try:
- Building a sand castle at the beach
- Taking a trip to the neighborhood flower garden or nursery
Summer is a perfect time learn new skills and concepts. With school right around the corner, use this summer as an opportunity to help your child practice counting money with their very own lemonade stand. Start by introducing one coin at a time until your child is familiar with the monetary value and look of each coin and small bill. Next, take time to practice exchanging and counting money with your child until they’re ready to hit the stands! Whether you’re selling homemade lemonade, freshly baked cookies, or icy popsicles, this is a great way for your child to learn money management all while making a few bucks!
All out of lemons? Try:
- Keeping a piggy bank. Help your child to earn, save, and count money with a household chore system.
We all want to have a blast during summer vacation, but it’s important to be safe. Teaching standard safety skills this summer is a must for any parent of a child with special needs. Have your child memorize your home address as well as important phone numbers like your cell phone, your neighbor’s phone number, and 911. You could also have your child practice using communication devices such as information cards or bracelets to let people know their basic information in the case of an emergency.
Having trouble keeping them engaged? Try using blank index cards and pictures to create a matching game or integrate your child’s favorite reinforcers! Use scenarios and stories to teach your child what an emergency is and when to call for help.
After this, try:
- Teaching your child to cross the street safely. Walk throughout the neighborhood and practice looking both ways.
- Use flash card images to teach your child to identify dangerous household objects. Have them practice asking for help with these things.
- Take a tour of your local police station and fire department for a fun safety lesson. This is a great way to teach your child how to spot community helpers!
Rainy Days with Vizzle
Unfortunately, every summer day isn’t perfect – luckily, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re tackling bad weather, summer colds, or lazy Sundays, there’s always a way to keep your child engaged. With over 15,000 interactive lessons and activities, Vizzle is sure to have what you need to make your child’s summer both fun and educational.
Assign lessons on senses, life skills, social skills, safety and more to help reinforce concepts and lessons this summer break. With personalized lessons and reinforcers, Vizzle is a great tool to tackle the summer heat and keep your child active and engaged all summer long.
Whether cooling off in the splash pool or munching on sweet summer strawberries, spending quality time with your children will make this summer truly sensational!