100 Ideas for Keeping Your Child with Special Needs Busy All Summer

100 Ideas for Keeping Your Child with Special Needs Busy All Summer May 31, 2018

Already wondering how you’re going to fill those long summer days? We’ve got 100 fun ideas to keep you and the kids (or grandkids) busy!

  1. Plant a garden
  2. Find a pen pal
  3. Start a new collection
  4. Climb a tree
  5. Make crock-pot apple sauce
  6. Play in the sprinkler (affiliate link)
  7. Pick strawberries
  8. Water balloon toss
  9. Try essential oils (tips on using lavender from My Blessed Life)
  10. Start a new therapy (We’re starting feeding therapy this summer. It’s pretty intense so summer is a great time to try!)
  11. Make jelly or jam
  12. Try a new snow cone flavor
  13. Swing
    source: iStock
  14. Make a tent/cave

  15. Volunteer (my sister, who has Down syndrome, loves to help out at a local food pantry once a week)
  16. Travel
  17. Stamp with TP rolls (via 4 Crazy Kings)
  18. Go bowling
  19. Find a Lego camp or class
  20. Try horse back riding
  21. Take a theatre class
  22. Learn to beat-box
  23. Go see movie (check for free movies in your area!)
  24. Pack a picnic
  25. Pass on old toys
  26. Try a new recipe
  27. Take a meal to someone who needs a break from cooking dinner
  28. Go fishing
  29. Learn to sew
  30. Celebrate June 25th- Eric Carle’s Birthday

  31. Encourage pretend play (from Under God’s Mighty Hand)
  32. Catch lighting bugs
  33. Make a shower curtain play mat from Dollar Store Crafts
  34. Start a new book series
  35. Blow bubbles
  36. Sign up for your library reading program
  37. Visit a park you’ve never been to before (one year we went to a new park each week for eight weeks!)
  38. Play No Time for Flashcard’s Angry Birds inspired water balloon game
  39. Attend Vacation Bible School
  40. Grill out
  41. Celebrate June 7th- National Crayon Day
  42. Take swim lessons
  43. Go to  a water park
  44. Visit a zoo
  45. Start a blog

  46. Take a hike
  47. Go camping
  48. Get a group of parents together to go through a Bible study for special-needs parents (my husband and I wrote this one, Held: Learning to Live in God’s Grip). Let the kids play together while you meet.
  49. Try these Cardboard box craftsfrom Craig List Dad
  50. Cut up pool noodles and dump them in the bath tub
  51. Make popsicles (affiliate link)
  52. DIY outdoor movie night from The Taylor House
  53. Go to the beach
  54. Make s’mores
  55. Walk through a creek
  56. Make side walk chalk (Erin Lincoln)
  57. Slide down a water slide
  58. Ride a bike
  59. Try Do-a-Dot art, like these Minecraft pages (from The Multi Taskin’ Mom)

  60. Grill pizza
  61. Make a butterfly feeder from eHow
  62. Homemade fruit roll-ups from Sondi Bruner
  63. Abacus wafflesfrom education.com
  64. Make play-doh (via Seeded at the Table)
  65. Make edible, allergy-free play-doh (via Healthy Mama Info)
  66. Make homemade ice cream
  67. Get a water table (affiliate link)
  68. Try these slime recipes and activities from Growing a Jeweled Rose

  69. Find constellations
  70. Try a new app
  71. Writer letters to your friends from school
  72. Wash the car
  73. Go to a new restaurant
  74. Try a new food (Maybe one you grow in your garden? Or pick from a local orchard?)
  75. Go on a scavenger hunt
  76. Have a movie marathon270255_10150242709378704_204056_n

  77. Invent something new
  78. Have a garage sale
  79. Trade in old video games for a new one
  80. Write a song
  81. Write a book
  82. Catch and identify bugs (affiliate link)
  83. Visit a farm
  84. Go to a parade
  85. Take a nap (maybe this is just on Mom and Dad’s list!)

  86. Learn to drive
  87. Potty train (this is on our list, for the 3rd summer in a row!)
  88. Go to an indoor bounce house when it’s super hot outside
  89. Read KidVentures by Jen Murray for 50 outdoor ideas (affiliate link)
  90. Find a splash pad to enjoy
  91. Fly a kite
  92. Color these summer pages from DLTK

  93. Have breakfast for dinner
  94. See how many times you can roll down a tall hill
  95. Ride a train
  96. Find a local support group (or research how to start your own)
  97. Make a pool noodle water wall (from Teaching Mama)
  98. Check out Celebrating Our Stories: Teaching children about differences and kindness through books by Courtney Westlake and make a list of books to read (affiliate link)
  99. Dress up like your favorite character from a book, movie, or TV show
  100. Paint finger nails and toe nails a fun color

And for even more ideas, follow our summer activity Pinterest Board.

Sandra Peoples is a pastor’s wife and mom to two boys. She’s the author of  Held: Learning to Live in God’s Grip (a Bible study for special-needs parents) and the upcoming new release, Unexpected Blessings: The Joys and Possibilities of Life in a Special-Needs Family.


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