25 March 2022

Fun things to do with disabled children

A child sitting in a wheelchair hugging his father

We all want to think that children with disabilities aren’t any different from able-bodied children and that the same activities can be enjoyed by all. However, making sure you strike the right balance between something that will be an engaging and educational activity without being overwhelming or overdemanding is important. We all like to think of our little ones as unstoppable, but parents and family members of children with disabilities will know that even with all the best intentions in the world, there need to be times when allowances need to be made to make every experience the most rewarding it can be.

In this article, we offer our top suggestions on activities that can strike the balance between engaging but not demanding.

Cook or bake together

Spending time together in the kitchen is a wonderful activity and can be tailored to children of any age or ability level. Especially if you have a passion for cooking or baking, this can be a great time to bond and share a part of yourself with the little ones in your life – perhaps even working together to create family recipes or your signature bake.

What’s really nice about cooking and baking is the ability to adapt the activity to the right level for the child you are with. For older, more capable children, a more complex recipe with multiple steps and knife work might be appropriate but for younger children or those who may struggle with limiting factors like mobility, a simple bake of flapjack or muffins can be easy to whip up and something you could do together. You could even just settle for decorating some gingerbread people or a cake if that’s easier for you both! What’s important is the time spent together, not the end result (although hopefully, that’s delicious as well.)

READ MORE: Fun recipe ideas to cook with your grandchildren

Watch a film

There are a few things more relaxing and accessible than watching a film, and it can be a wonderful activity for all generations to share, especially on a rainy day. Whether it’s limited energy that’s an issue or you just want something simple to occupy a few hours, popping on a film can be a wonderful way to pass the time. You could watch a new release that your child or grandchild has been dying to see or even put on an old classic you used to love when you were their age.

If you want to make it more of an event, why not visit the local cinema or theatre? Make sure to call ahead if anyone in the party needs special considerations due to a disability. You can pick up a bag of popcorn or some sweeties, enjoy watching the trailers and then dissect the film once you leave. We’re sure it’ll create lasting memories.

Discussing the accessibility of cinemas in the UK, My Family Your Needs explains: “All cinemas are obliged to make reasonable adjustments that enable you and your disabled child to go to the cinema, but there are other things that can make the experience a bit easier. The Cinema Exhibitors Association Card (CEA card), available to children over the age of 8-years-old, allows a parent or carer a free adult cinema ticket whenever they accompany a disabled child to the cinema. You need to be in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Attendance Allowance (AA), or be registered blind to be eligible, and there is a small processing cost of £6, but it will certainly be a saver in the long run.”

Young child at zoo feeling giraffes

Visit the zoo

The zoo is a great family day out for all, so if you are planning a day out for a group of children with a range of abilities it can be a great option. With plenty to learn, zoos let you take everything at your own pace, and you can often find a quiet corner to tuck away to if needed. There are opportunities to have educational encounters and even hands-on encounters which can create lasting memories for a child with a passion for animals.

The only thing that’s worth remembering is that some zoos can have varied terrain, so be sure that if your child needs a mobility aid you’ve ensured the terrain won’t be too much for you. For more help, we’ve put together a list of the best accessible wildlife attractions in the UK.

Explore local gardens

Public gardens can be another wonderful way to enjoy the natural world regardless of mobility level. Often quiet places where it’s easy to find a spot away from people if needed, there are many public gardens around the UK that can be enjoyed throughout the year. As with any attraction, we suggest you make sure to check ahead if you have specific mobility needs.

One of the great things about local gardens is the ability to repeat visit at different times of the year and have a completely unique experience as the flora changes to adapt to the weather and seasons. This means that for children who might thrive better in a familiar space, they can have peace of mind knowing they are somewhere they are comfortable but still have new things to look at and explore.

Fun things to do with disabled children

  • Cook or bake together
  • Watch a film
  • Visit the zoo
  • Explore local gardens

We hope these suggestions can work for you and the child in your life and give you some more fun options for ways to spend time together. Whatever you choose to do, it’s the time spent together that’s the most important factor.

As stair lift experts, we are ready to step in and help provide mobility assistance in your home should you need it. Contact us today to learn more.

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