Updated: Mar 22
Spring is a season of new beginnings and what better way to celebrate than by engaging in fun activities that promote growth, wellness, and social interaction? For children and adults with developmental disabilities, the warmer weather provides the perfect opportunity to shake off the winter blues and get active.
Benefits of Springtime Fun
Whether you live in a city with average temperatures well below freezing, or one that never gets below 50 degrees, we can all agree that the warmer days of spring are much appreciated. So, before we dive into our list of great activities, let’s look at some of the benefits of getting outside this spring.
1. Supports increased mobility and motor skills
After being cooped up inside all winter, the spring provides a great opportunity to get outside and move! For individuals with limited mobility, gardening, and short walks can relieve tension and help prevent knots and injuries. Children can also have fun while improving their gross motor skills by playing with sidewalk chalk or going to playgrounds.
2. Improves mood
Outdoor yoga, picnicking, and birdwatching can improve mood, reduce stress, and enhance mental well-being. These activities provide opportunities for relaxation, socializing, and connecting with nature, which can promote a positive and joyful state of mind.
3. Time for connection
Springtime activities such as visiting an arboretum, attending a music festival, or joining a local sports team can provide opportunities for socialization, community building, and creating connections for people with disabilities. These activities offer spaces for shared experiences, forming relationships, and finding a sense of belonging.
4. Learning New Things
The joys and benefits of spring are not limited to just what you have done before, it might just be the best time to learn and discover something new. Cooking classes, exploring a new city, or attending an art exhibit can provide opportunities for learning new things, developing new skills, and expanding knowledge for people with disabilities. These activities can challenge the mind, spark creativity, and promote personal growth and development.
Great Springtime Activities
Physical activity is especially important for individuals with disabilities, as it can improve overall health and well-being. However, finding appropriate activities can be a challenge. That's why we've put together a list of fun springtime activities that may be a good fit for your family.
Whether it's enjoying the fresh air on a nature walk, participating in outdoor sports or games, or simply taking advantage of community events, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the season while promoting physical fitness and social engagement. So let's embrace the beauty of spring and get moving!
1. Flying a Kite
The warm and windy days of spring make it the ideal time to go kite flying! Taking a kite out to your local park or beach is an engaging way for children and adults with developmental disabilities to pass some quality time together. While having fun with this classic outdoor activity, children can also develop their motor skills as they learn how to direct their colorful-winged steeds in the sky.
Art is an excellent way to incorporate fun and learning. Moreover, squatting down and holding art supplies while creating can strengthen the legs and torso as well as enhance grasping skills and fine motor development. Art outdoors offers a dual benefit of helping a child and adults explore their creative side all while strengthening those muscles needed for everyday activity!
Some fun outdoor artwork activities include:
Painting on paper
Drawing with chalk on the sidewalk
Looking for rocks to paint
Create line art on the beach or on sand
Stimulate young ones' creativity and help foster their muscle development with fun, new techniques like painting utilizing an assortment of non-toxic hues inside pie tins. Let them use their hands and feet to create– you'll be pleasantly surprised at the outcome!
3. Water Fight
Enjoy a heart-pumping and entertaining day outdoors on warmer days with some water fun! Grab your Super Soakers, balloons, hose, or sprinkler, and get ready to be totally drenched as you play together. This affordable activity is perfect for children and adults alike who have developmental disabilities - it's sure to bring lots of laughter too!
4. Exploring Nature
Whether they are sightseeing, feeling the fresh air against their skin, or experiencing nature's scents - exploring the outdoors is an amazing way for children with disabilities to receive sensory stimulation. From lying in lush green grass and absorbing a gentle spring breeze to smelling fragrant flowers and picking dandelions, outdoor activities can provide remarkable experiences that will benefit them greatly.
You can even create challenges and have them find:
Insects such as ladybugs or caterpillars
With a magnifying glass in hand, kids can uncover and examine the world around them - making for an exciting learning experience. Let their imaginations be sparked as they explore with closer examination.
5. Plant Vegetables
Spring is the perfect time to get your hands dirty and start growing your own vegetables. Not only is it a rewarding experience, but it can also be empowering. Imagine planting a seed, covering it in soil, watering it, and watching it grow into something delicious over the next few weeks. This is an activity that can be shared with children or supported adults with developmental disabilities. Together, you can find a plot of land and plant some onions, tomatoes, and potatoes. Once harvest time arrives, you can all enjoy a meal made with your freshly grown produce. It's a great way to connect with nature and learn valuable skills at the same time.
Gardening is not only a fun activity, but it provides numerous health and skill-building benefits such as improving fine and gross motor skills, communication between team members through the teaching and learning process, and maintaining healthy weight and energy levels which can aid children or support adults' growth toward independence while providing fun. It's an enjoyable way to learn new skills and promote overall well-being.
In conclusion, we, at the Individual Advocacy Group promote the idea that fun activities should be accessible to everyone, including those with developmental disabilities. Springtime provides an excellent opportunity to engage in activities such as gardening, which can provide numerous health and skill-building benefits while also being enjoyable for all involved. By promoting inclusive and fun activities, we can help individuals relieve stress and improve their overall well-being. Every individual deserves to have fun, regardless of ability, and it is up to us to create opportunities for them to do so.