10 Fun Summer Activities for Special Needs Children

Topics reviewed in this article

  1. Going to the beach
  2. Going to the pool
  3. Bowling
  4. Bicycle Riding
  5. Baseball games
  6. Walking outside
  7. Playing with water in your yard
  8. Swinging
  9. Shopping
  10. Therapy at home

1. Going to the beach

Kids love going to the beach in the summer time. Feeling the sand with their hands and feet is a great sensory activity for them.

What can your special one do at the beach?

Playing in the sand

Due to your child having a limited fine motor skills, the hand over hand technique can be used to assist him or her to play in the sand. Some beach activities can be picking up the sand, shoveling the sand into a bucket, making sand mountains and other structures and pouring water out of a water can. Your special one may like their feet, hands or bodies buried in the sand

Water play at the beach

  1. At the beach, your child can swim in the ocean with your assistance. The alternative is using an aquatic head float. The aquatic head float makes swimming independently possible. Check out these sites for more information.

Sitting at the pier or at the shore

You can sit on the pier with your child on your lap and he or she can kick in the water. At the shore, you can sit with your special one on the sand and feel the waves coming in.

The Splashy by Firefly Friends is a great product to use at the beach. Your son or daughter can sit up independently in the Splashy on the beach or even in the shallow water on the shore.

Check out: http://www.fireflyfriends.com

2. Going to the pool

When you first arrive at the near by pool, your family including your special one will be excited to swim. There are a few accommodations you can do to make sure your child with special needs is safe and enjoying themselves, too.


Your child can use a neck floating device to keep his or her head above the water. With the neck floating device, they can kick in the water and move around independently.

Check out:



Another option to accommodate the pool for your special one is put a life jacket on them. The third accommodation is put them on a pool noodle, raft or inflatable tube.

When getting ready to go to the pool, packing snacks and drinks along with other necessities is essential. After swimming, having a snack and drink at the side of the pool in the shade is often a good idea to keep hydrated and hunger satisfied.

3. Bowling


Another activity your children may like participating in is bowling. You can adapt bowling for your special one by putting her leg immobilizers on or put her in the Upsee by Firefly friends, so she can stand more independently and participate in bowling. Most bowling alleys have a ramp for kids and bumpers to make bowling easy and fun.

See the pictures below to see the Upsee & leg immobilizers:

4. Bicycle Riding

Bicycle riding is a great way to spend time with your family and enjoy the sunshine outside. To include your child with special needs, you can insert an adapted chair in a Burley.

Purchasing a custom made bike for kids with disabilities, which they can ride on their own or be attached to another rider is a way to include them in bicycling. Hopefully, a custom bicycle can be ordered for your child in the near future. For more information, visit thebikerack.com.

For more information: http://www.thebikerack.com


5. Baseball Games

During the summer, you may enjoy taking your special one along with your other children to a baseball game. Perhaps your home team offers the opportunity to run the bases on your teams’ field, which would be a cool experience. Watching your home baseball team and anticipating your team winning is exciting.

Baseball stadiums usually have elevators and handicap seating to accommodate your child with special needs.

6. Walking outside

You can walk with your son or daughter outside in the Upsee from Firefly Friends around your property or short walk down your block.

For more information: http://www.fireflyfriends.com

Walking in a gait trainer in a large open area such as your driveway, empty garage or at a park would be engaging for your son or daughter. Another enjoyable activity in the summer season is taking a stroll in their stroller or wheelchair in your neighborhood, park, forest preserve or trail.

What do you do during your walks?

While you walk, you can listen to your favorite music or sing songs and talk about the nature or animals that you see.

7. Playing with water in your yard

Most kids loves to play with water in the hot summer sun. There are various of water activities your son or daughter can choose from.

Standing while playing with the water table

They may love to play with a water table. Your child can play while standing near the water table. If your child needs assistance standing, braces and shoes can be put on and you can sit on a bench or chair behind them. Playing with water can be a great motivator to work on enhancing developmental skills.

Sitting while playing with the water table

The other option is to take the water table off its legs. and sit along with your child next to the water table. Your special one can put their hands and/or feet in the water. Grabbing and releasing water toys are an excellent way to encourage enhancement of fine motor skills.

Garden hose water play

In addition to playing with toys in a water table, spraying water with the garden hose is a fun way to cool off in the summer. Some kids like to be sprayed with the hose or you can spray the water towards the sky and make it rain.

You can also use the hose to fill water balloons and have a water balloon fight or catch.

Attaching the sprinkler to the hose and having your kids walk or run through it is often amusing.

Swimming in a small kiddie pool on a summer day is often a delight for kids.

Here are some ways you can have your special one enjoy the kiddie pool, too. One way is to sit on a lawn chair on the side with your child and have he or she kick his or her feet. Second, you can sit in the pool with them. Third, you put your child in the Splashy by Fireflyfriends. http://www.fireflyfriends.com Lastly, you can put a bunch of water toys in the pool for him or her to enjoy grabbing and releasing.

8. Swinging in an adaptive swing

One of your child’s favorite activities perhaps would be swinging. Spending time in the swing relaxes your child and decreases their muscle tone. Your special one might love movement and swinging back and forth would be a wonderful activity for them.

9. Shopping

Do you and your children enjoy shopping? Do you like looking for deals?

Perhaps you and your children like looking for favorite items and deals at second hand stores. Is the Dollar Store, Target or Walmart one of your favorite stores to shop at? Pottery Barn Kids is also often a favorite. Walking around outdoor malls might be a favorable way to spend a day in the summer.

Shopping is a great way to spend a summer morning or afternoon.

10. Therapy at home

While having beautiful weather, you can do therapy with your child with special needs. He or she may enjoy being outside in the sunshine. The wind and warmth feels good to kids. They also find animals such as birds, squirrels and deer fascinating.

Watching therapists over the years perhaps has taught you exercises and activities you can do with your child at home.

Some of the therapeutic activities and skills your child can work on at home is walking, standing, sitting on a big ball, sit to stand on a bench, head and neck strengthening while on her stomach and sitting. Being outside is a great motivator to work on these skills.

See a related post: 11 Enjoyable Activities and Toys for Special Needs Children

If you enjoyed this article on the 10 Fun Summer Activities For Special Needs Children or have any questions for us, please leave us a comment below! We’d love to hear from you!

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Savannah Smiles


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