Keeping kids busy is a full time job and finding fun options for kids with disabilities can be even more challenging. A great place to start is to find activities your child is interested in and build adaptations from there. This is a collection of ideas from parents, clinicians and teachers on activities that they use for their kids when standing in products like the EasyStand, but they can be used whenever your child is in the mood for fun!
1. Place a variety of toys on the tray for them to play with, rotate in different toys to change it up. Try sensory toys or toys with suction cups that will stick to the tray.
2. Watch their favorite TV shows or movies while standing. Some suggestions are “Sesame Street” or game shows like “The Price is Right”. The excitement & sound effects attract their attention.
3. Make a video of things that you have recorded them doing and play it for them. They might decide that their favorite show is about them. You could also do this with just an audio recorder.
4. Fashion a low tech remote control device for them to turn items like a computer, TV, or DVD player on/off, or select what they want to view, etc. by using a switch. Adaptive and single switch computer games are available.
5. Bring them in the kitchen to help with cooking or other activities. Depending on what you are making and how interested your child is, you can use devices like the Powerlink® to connect to a blender, mixer, etc. and let them help you or just give them their own plastic bowl and spatula to mimic your actions.
6. Tap into their artistic talents and let them color or draw. There are crayons that are shaped so kids with special needs can easily grab them! Or find a wide handled paint brush, some water colors and paper then let them paint. Finger paints are great too.
7. Read books while they stand. There are lots of great story books, or pull out photo albums of familiar family faces (a sure bet that this will bring out a smile). Adding an angled tray to their stander makes reading more comfortable, and encourages them to keep their head up.
8. Get a tray/bucket of water or sand for your child so they can play with different textures. You could also add bubble bath or sand/water toys. Pretend that you are at the beach, sandbox or tub.
9. Play with Play-DohÃ‚Â® when they are using their EasyStand. Use cookie cutters with large handles and a big rolling pin from the kitchen, they are easier to grip.
10. Roll them down the halls at school or around the house in their standing frame. They will love going for a ride and getting a change of scenery. If the have the mobile option on their stander, they could self-propel!
11. Spend some quiet time playing adaptive board games or puzzles or doing flash cards. The tray on the EasyStand is a nice surface for these activities.
12. Play music in headphones or on a boom box. Use switches to operate a boom box or other electrical items to turn the music or power on and off.
13. Invite friends, family and other kids over to visit. Maybe it is just to talk or have them participate in some of the child’s favorite activities too.
14. Find a set of hand puppets and give them a puppet show. They will want to put on the puppets too. You could even set up a stage using a large cardboard box to make the show a real hit.
15. Bring them into the gym at rehab or school or even a large room at home and play catch or shoot hoops. Mobile standers can be excellent for this.
16. Give them a camera and let them take funny photos of you, the family pet, or other favorite things. They will be fun to look at later. You could also be the photographer.
17. Bake and decorate cookies, they will enjoy shaking on the sprinkles. When finished let them taste those delicious cookies on their stander’s tray.
18. Sing to them, or sing together, maybe even give them a microphone to sing or talk into. Standing and music go great together, so get those lungs working.
19. Do different crafts like cutting and pasting or making hand prints with paint. Use some household items or food too, like macaroni, yarn, or buttons. Glue sticks also work great, are less messy, and come in large easy-to-grab sizes.
20. Have them blow bubbles, you might find yourself blowing some too. They have many products out, like bubble wands that are easy to hold on to and wave to get bubbles.
Depending on your child’s abilities and personality, different activities may or may not be ideal. Sometimes the simplest ideas work the best. Give some of these ideas a try, be creative and add some of your own!
Now we have given you 20 Fun Activities for kids to do! What ideas or activities can you add to the list? What activities are the favorite of the kids in your life, to do at school or home?