Spring has officially arrived. Birds are singing, trees are blooming, and many of us are itching to get outside after the long winter season. As a caregiver for a child or adult with an intellectual or developmental disability, you may want to find some new activities to do with your loved one. The team at RISE Services, Inc. Utah recommends participating in these fun and engaging spring-themed activities that both children and adults will enjoy.
1. Sidewalk Chalk
Playing with sidewalk chalk is an excellent way for children and adults with developmental disabilities to be creative and enjoy the spring weather. You can let them draw whatever their imaginations can fathom, or you can use this as a teaching time. Children can practice writing their letters and numbers and adults can focus on drawing butterflies, caterpillars, rainbows, and other spring-themed items.
2. Spring Sensory Bins
Sometimes children and adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities struggle with sensory input. They may find it difficult to wear socks or eat certain foods, or they may need more sensory input to regulate their nervous systems. Spring-themed sensory bins are an amazing tool for meeting both of those needs. You can introduce different textures in a fun and safe manner. Fill bins with items like rice, beans, or sand. Then add other spring items like plastic bugs, fake flowers, plastic Easter eggs, toy farm animals, and other spring objects.
3. Outdoor Play
One of the best things about spring is playing outside in the warm sun. Outdoor time can be fun for caregivers and family members. Visit a local park where kids can swing, slide, and climb all over the play equipment. Many playgrounds include inclusive play equipment such as ADA-accessible swings, sensory panels, and wheelchair-height components. Take advantage of Utah’s many national parks where individuals with disabilities qualify for a free lifetime Access Pass. Bring along a picnic lunch and enjoy an afternoon of being outside in the sun.
Sometimes it’s the simplest activity that provides the most fun. There aren’t many adults or children who don’t like to play with bubbles. Grab a pack of bubbles from the store and let everyone have fun outside. If it’s difficult for some to blow bubbles using the included bubble wand, there are alternatives like handheld bubble blowers or automatic bubble machines.
Nothing says spring like planting a garden. If you’re an avid gardener, be sure to have the child or adult in your care help you in ways they are able. Ask them to help with choosing different flowers to plant in your yard, digging holes for various plants and flowers, and planting and watering vegetable seeds. Keep it even simpler by having them be responsible for their own flower or vegetable plant. Take them to a local gardening store where they can choose their own plant. They will love watching it grow throughout spring and summer.
Supporting Individuals Living with Disabilities
RISE Utah provides many enjoyable activities for individuals living with disabilities through our Opportunity Centers, after-school and summer programs, residential services, and supported living services.
Our Direct Support Professionals are essential in helping individuals learn and grow through fun and engaging activities like those discussed above. Be a part of what RISE is doing for children and adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities by joining our team. Visit our careers page to learn more about working at RISE Utah or contact us today!
Source: DeVault, Nancy. “10 Sensory-Friendly Activities to Do Outdoors this Spring.” Web article. Ameridisability. 18 Apr. 2022. Web. 17 Apr. 2023.