I know spring is right around the corner but for some people when the snow is still on the ground, it means downhill skiing, sledding, and snowmobiling. Others, however, aren’t as eager to head out into the snow. Some children with sensory issues may find it challenging to tolerate the cold, texture of the snow or the gusting wind hitting their face.
Luckily, there are plenty of indoor options that make it possible to find activities to do during the cold months. Remember every child is unique in their own individual way, regardless of their ism. There may be an activity that your child enjoys more than the other. See what resonates with them and have some family fun with their preferred activity!
While some exercises may be boring and repetitive, bowling surely isn’t! There are several ways to get into the sport; you can join a children’s league, a special needs league or bowl just for fun. It is a great way to mingle with family and friends, enjoy a few laughs and get in exercise.
Splish, Splash to having fun! If you are feeling a little down from the cold weather outdoors, swimming can be a great way to warm up and have fun. Most gyms have indoor pools, or you can go to an indoor water park. Swimming can really help you to relax, build strength, and endurance. So “jump in” to a healthier lifestyle!
Basketball is a great physical activity during the winter. Many gyms have basketball courts built into them, and, whether you’re an expert or a beginner, you can easily get involved by joining a recreational league for kids, a special needs team or just play for fun. You will burn calories by running up and down the court, improve coordination, and build muscle tone. This a great way to get your kids involved and make it fun family sport all year round!
Tennis is one of the most popular ways for children and adults to get exercise, especially during the winter. This is great for eye and hand coordination, gross motor skills and body awareness. You can join a tennis club, which usually offer leagues for every skill level, or just rent a court and play with the family!
I loved roller skating when I was a child! Roller skating is another exercise that can easily be shifted indoors especially during the winter. Look into indoor rinks and if your child is feeling a tad bit more adventurous, he or she could think about joining a roller hockey team. If a big crowd of people is too overwhelming for your child I would call the rink to see if they have a night dedicated for children with sensory challenges. This sport is great for positive cardiovascular health, building muscle tone, strength and endurance.
Dancing and listening to music is therapeutic and engaging for everyone! Dance is an excellent way to get exercise in while expressing yourself through motion. Dancing is great for children with various isms; it engages them socially, helps with following directions, enhances expressive and receptive language development, and body awareness.
This is a great time for the parents to get silly with their child and take out the disco ball, get colorful scarves to toss up in the air, or form a circle where the child can be the star in the circle showing off their moves. You can dance the night away in the comfort of your own home or host a child’s dance party, where they can listen to music and mingle with their friends.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts is a great way for the child to express themselves and explore their creativity. This activity will get their creative juices flowing and it can also be therapeutic. What is great about arts and crafts is there is no right or wrong way of doing art. The child can have fun and express themselves in their own individual unique way. Some fun activities I do with my son include painting rocks, finger painting on paper, coloring, making funny faces with paper plates, color the dots, making houses out of popsicle sticks. It is a nice mommy and me time!
Have some therapeutic fun even if you are cooped up inside with the freezing cold snow outside!