10 Tips for School Days Off with Children with Special Needs

Days off of school are the best days of the year for many kids. Many of us have fond memories of waking to our parent telling us that school was closed for the day.

But these days can be challenge for children with special needs, especially those who rely heavily on structure or sensory stimulation. We don’t want our buddies to miss out on the fun, so we prepared some tips you can use to help make the most out of your day at home with your child.

  1. Play some calm music. Give your child a chance to unwind with some headphones and a soothing playlist. And, if they feel like dancing, give them space and let them shake out their sillies.
  2. Make them a new visual schedule. You can use their computer, their phone, a whiteboard, or a piece of paper for this. What you want to do is give them something visual that they can use to understand that their schedule will be different today.
  3. Have them play outside. Let them run around the backyard or take them for a walk around the block. Keep their energy up and their spirits high!
  4. Do a puzzle together. Puzzles are a soothing way to pass the time while also engaging the mind.
  5. Make an obstacle course. Bring the best parts of gym class home to help them burn off some of that boundless energy!
  6. Do some crafts. Engage your child’s creative side by getting into some good (possibly messy) fun! You can find tons of ideas on pinterest. (Contact your therapist as well, it’s possible they already have ideas specifically suited for your child’s needs.)
  7. Bake! Who doesn’t love something that’s fun to make and even more fun to eat? You can take this opportunity to work on reading, spatial reasoning, and self regulation skills.
  8. Contact your therapist for activity suggestions. Your therapist should be able to provide some activities that your child to do to keep them from regressing while they wait for their next session.
  9. Remember to take time for yourself. It’s your day off too.
  10. Breathe. Use this opportunity to take some quiet time with your family. Maybe try doing some yoga or meditation together.

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