Games and Activities for Children with Special Needs and Autism

1. Match the cards

Age: 3 to 5 years

Benefits: Memory, concentration and social skills

Suitable for: Speech and Language Delay, Learning Disability

Memory matching cards are easily available in the market. You can play this simple game by arranging pairs of matching cards face down in random order. You and your child can take turns in flipping the cards. You need to flip twice, and if you get a matching pair, you can take the cards. If not, you continue playing until all the cards are matched.

2. Make some art

Age: 3 to 5 years

Benefits: Motor-coordination, self-confidence and creativity

Suitable for: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Learning Disability, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy

Can there be anything better to boost your child’s self-confidence than creating something on her own? Painting with cut vegetables and fruits is easy, and soon, your child will be beaming at the masterpiece she has created.

3. Build structures

Ages: 3 to 5 years, 6 to 9 years

Benefits: Creativity, problem-solving, social skills

Suitable for: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Learning Disability

Blocks are a staple in every child’s toy caddy, so dump them out and start playing. In a study by the University of Rochester Medical Center, children with Autism Spectrum Disorders were found to use their creativity more after playing with interlocking blocks. Autistic children follow a strict routine and find it difficult to break from their repetitive behaviour. By building different structures, your child can venture into trying new things and develop creativity. You can start by asking your child to copy a structure first. Then, slowly encourage him to build structures on his own.

4. Dance to a tune

Ages: 3 to 5 years, 6 to 9 years

Benefits: Confidence, spatial awareness, motor and social skills

Suitable for: Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Physical disability, Cerebral Palsy, Learning Disability

Dancing is great for self-expression and for keeping your child’s body in shape. And all that tapping, stomping and twirling are so much fun. Even for children who are wheelchair bound, dancing can help in flexibility and improve upper body strength. When you incorporate music into it, your child’s brain gets a boost of endorphins, the feel-good hormones, which will relax her. Also, by involving in a dance session with friends and family, your child can hone her social skills.

5. Treasure hunt

Ages: 3 to 5 years, 6 to 9 years

Benefits: Improves observation skills

Hide your child’s favourite toys or items in places where it is safe for him to access. You can give him either verbal clues or visual clues such as a drawing on a piece of paper. Don’t forget to treat him with his favourite cookies once he is able to find the hidden object. This fun indoor activity will help to develop your child’s focus and concentration, and keep him engaged while indoors.

6. Roll a dice

Age: 6 to 9 years

Benefits: Self-confidence and social skills

Suitable for: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Speech and Language Delay

Board games are powerful tools for family bonding and learning social skills like sharing and taking turns. Choose a game of your child’s liking and remember to tweak the rules to suit him – the aim is to let him have fun.

Link: https://www.parentcircle.com/article/10-games-and-activities-for-children-with-special-needs/

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