Whether or not you have a child with special needs, playtime is a valuable opportunity for your child to develop important skills. The good news is that you can easily incorporate developmental activities into play without spending a lot of money. Here are three ideas that you can try at home.
Arts and Crafts
Crafting is universally loved by children and adults because it is limited only by the imagination. You can use just about anything you can find at home for art supplies, whether you have popsicle sticks and glue or just pen and paper. Doing arts and crafts is a great way for your child to express themselves, and it is also good for developing good sensory integration. For example, you can help your child exercise tactile stimulation in a fun and safe context by making things out of clay.
You have probably noticed how much children enjoy playing with boxes. Sometimes, they seem to have more fun playing with a box that a new toy came in than the toy itself. You can use this to your advantage by turning boxes into a developmental activity. In particular, you can teach your child social skills and problem-solving. Simply, set up some boxes into forts and you have your own pretend town. Then you and your child can play house, pretend to go buy groceries, and more all while practicing real-world social skills.
Lastly, gardening is a great developmental activity because it teaches children patience and responsibility. But, you might imagine that it can be expensive to buy gardening equipment or set aside a portion of land outside. Fortunately, you can start small with simple indoor gardening. All you need is some gardening soil, which you can find at many hardware stores or the gardening section of large department stores, seeds, and cardboard egg cartons to plant the seeds in. The egg carton is very inexpensive, and you might already have one at home, and you can find seed packets for under a dollar. If you want, you can even use the soil in your backyard for free as well. Altogether, you can start a fun hobby in just one afternoon.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.