Fun activities over the summer holidays
When it comes to fun over the summer holidays children and families have an array of activities to enjoy. We all have different interests in life, so children will have varying ideas of activities they enjoy. Their activities cannot be compared or interpreted as unusual, we want them to be comfortable with themselves.
The Summer holidays are usually an exciting time, however, the change in routine can sometimes trigger anxiety for both parents and children. of activities, ranging from indoor games to play groups keeping your children socialising during the summer break.
You are not alone!
As parents, you may be struggling, especially since “80% of parents with children with learning difficulties struggle to access support services during the summer holidays”. Even if you have support from family & friends available, you may worry about the public’s attitudes. You are not alone 58% of parents also raise these concerns. The purpose of summer is to enjoy having time together, whether that’s inside the house or enjoying the sunshine at the beach. Disabled children’s partnership.
Here are some activities your family could enjoy:
- Relaxed performance at a local cinema or theatre: these shows have adjusted sound & lighting levels to suit those with sensory processing/communication needs.
- Quiet time: we don’t tend to do this outdoors. However, this could be relaxing and great for your children to engage with nature. This is great to reduce anxiety levels.
- Picnics: This could be done in your garden, or a beautiful national park, you can create your ambience. This could also be a fun indoor activity, get everyone involved in making the picnic.
- Nature walks: They can provide amazing sensory. Your children can collect rocks, leaves & flowers, anything that interests them. You could go on group walks with those in your local area.
- Swings: at your local park, some feature adaptive swings. You could also buy adaptive swings for your own garden. Swings can be so much fun for your child, and a great activity that can bring some calmness outdoors.
List at-home activities:
- Building blocks: Building blocks give your children the opportunity to build something safely on their own. This gives a real sense of achievement and pride, as well as developing hand-eye coordination.
- Colouring: Perfect for developing hand-eye coordination & motor skills. It’s an excellent way for your child to express creativity. You can purchase books designed for those with additional needs or regular colouring books, whatever fits your needs best.
- Puzzles: not only will your children find this entertaining, but It’s also a great way to get them to use their brains. Practising problem-solving skills.
- Board/card games: board games provide structure for your children and help build their social skills. A useful tip: use board games to reinforce specific lessons like Maths or reading. The likes of snakes & ladders involve counting & taking turns, with monopoly teaching money management.
- Baking: baking can have amazing benefits for your children. Baking can be a great social activity getting friends involved and improving their social skills. Keeping up with the interactions they’re missing from school.
- Making music: This can help them learn about numerical sequences, patterns & rhythm. If your child is non-verbal or has limited speech, have them use a visual chart to express their musical preferences. Dancing can also be an excellent form of communication and a fun form of exercise.
Anxiety-reducing activities: if the change in routine has triggered anxiety give some of these a try:
- Calm down jars: throw warm water, glitter glue and glitter in a glass or plastic jar and give it a shake. Watching the glitter slowly float to the bottom can be extremely soothing and relaxing. You could use jars of all sizes, making a small version to pop in your bag or pocket when you’re on the go.
- Worry Box: get them to make the worry box, decorating it however they please. Let them get as creative as they want. Explain it’ll be in a special place where they can store their worries. This allows your child to take control of their anxiety and you can set aside to discuss why they’re feeling this way.
- Stress Balls: you can buy these online, or if you want to create a fun DIY activity, grab a balloon, and fill it with flour, rice or play dough. They’re great for a fidget and are a fantastic distraction for those suffering from Trichotillomania, (Someone who cannot resist the urge to pull their hair).
- Sentre: based in Birmingham, it’s a space for children aged 2-10 with autism-specific needs. Sentre is a safe environment that allows parents to recharge while their children are with care experts.
- Search for similar play centres in your local area.
If your children aren’t interested in some of the activities listed, base activities on something that brings joy and happiness. Children have different interests. Have a positive attitude demonstrating you’re also interested and the whole family wants to join. Fun is something so unique
The summer can be stressful for parents, aim to focus on your family’s unique fun. There are no one-size fits all solutions. Even as adults, we all have different interests.