Have you heard people say that your kids learn more from you and their actions than what you teach them verbally? If you haven’t, you have now. If you want to induce healthy and exemplary behaviors in your kids, focus more on what they do in their free time.
We do not realize that the majority of our children’s learning happens from what they do in their day-to-day lives. They pick up things and develop habits just by seeing them. For example, if they see cartoons that encourage good habits, they will slowly adapt those habits while applying them in real life. Whereas if they see people or characters, they look up to do bad things, they will eventually start doing those things as well. Now, if they learn so much just by seeing things, you can only imagine how much they must learn from doing specific actions and activities, right?
Well, let’s answer your question with another question. Why do parents get their children toys and games? Is it because they want to keep them distracted and busy? Well, that might be part of the reason, but the main reason for these games and toys is to encourage learning in their children. Most of the learning in our children’s lifetime is subconscious. It is extremely important to introduce activities and games in their daily lives that can teach them good things. And what the best way could be if not getting them to and games that can help them learn while also having fun?
However, not every kid is the same. Every kid has a different requirement, be it because of their age or some disability. Regardless of that, every kid requires toys and games to grow and learn and, of course, to spend their free time. And if you know someone or are someone who has a special needs kid or a kid with some sort of a disability, this article might just help you find the perfect toy or game according to their needs. Because we believe no kid should feel left out.
So it is necessary to choose games, toys, and activities for your kids that will help them have fun while also not impacting their learning. You just have to see what fits them the best and where their interests lie. So to make your life a little bit easier, we have gathered some of the best toys, games, and activities for disabled or special needs kids.
So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started.
Best 6 Toys and Games for Disabled and Special Needs Teenager
Special needs or not, every kid has a world of their own in their heads. And why wouldn’t they? They grow up around adults and start admiring them and what they do. They watch their parents, whom they love and look up to, do things like looking after the house, doing chores, cooking, etc., due to which they become fond of what they do and just can’t wait to grow up (I know, someone tells them). This is why they try copying them and start playing pretend.
Does that sound like your kid? If so, then this might just be the best toy to get them. while they play, pretend, and “cook” with these toys, you can help them learn the names of different vegetables, fruits, and different canned and cooked items. Want to amp it up just a bit? Well, then try introducing the idea of what is healthy food and unhealthy food; this way, they might start applying this idea to real-life and eat more healthy food than junk food like donuts, chocolates, etc.
So now not only will they have fun, but they might just learn a thing or two!
The best thing you can do for any child, let alone a child with special needs or disability, is to spend some quality time with them. Yes, even teenagers like to spend some time with their loved ones. And what better way to spend quality time with your child than indulge in activities you both will enjoy.
Therefore puzzles make a great game to get your kid. Now the complexity of the puzzle can always vary according to your child’s age and requirements. For example, if your kids are slightly older, you can get them a more complex puzzle. Still, if they are someone with learning disabilities, then you can start with a simpler puzzle. A puzzle will help your child with cognitive development since it encourages them to learn different strategies and help them make choices on their own.
Oh, plus, puzzles are not electronic or dangerous to use, so you don’t have to worry about your children while they are solving the puzzle. So what is stopping you from getting it for your kid?
If adults love books so much, imagine how much kids and teenagers must love them. Reading books might just be as fun as playing with toys for some kids. It helps them get distracted from all the bad things around them and helps them focus. Yes, that is right, now not only will your kids be able to learn new informative things that they usually might not have, but it will also increase the period of their focus.
If your kid is young or has learning difficulties, they might prefer books with bright and colorful illustrations, at least for starters. But if they are older and more mentally developed, they might like more complex books depending on what genre they enjoy reading, for example, fiction, sci-fi, mystery, comedy, etc.
So let’s encourage our kids and teenagers to read books rather than scrolling through social media as it can have a very harmful impact on their mental health, behavior, and habits.
So now isn’t that a great idea? A fun way to spend your free time, which also makes a perfect gift!
Now, what about kids/ teenagers with disabilities like blindness? Well, thanks to technology now you can not only read books but hear them. And most of the time you don’t even have to pay for them. All you have to do is download them online and play for your kids anytime. Be it informative books or stories, and now your kid can have access to it all. However, certain books might not be readily available online, so you will have to buy them. You can get them from places like Amazon, audiobooks.com, Scribd, etc.
5. Draw Something App
Now that we already are on the topic, let’s dive into our next game, which can also be found online, amazing isn’t that? Now you can help your kids indulge in activities without having to spend extra money on them. All you need to have is a mobile or a tablet and download the app.
This app is called ‘Draw Something.’ Contrary to popular belief, technology is not all that bad. If used properly with the correct supervision, it can prove to be helpful for teenagers with special needs. Now, Draw Something is a social drawing tool. So essentially, what you do is communicate with people, whether friends or family, through different drawings, meaning it is a guessing game. For example, you or your kids can take turns and draw out particular objects, animals, places, etc., the app suggests, and the other person guesses it. And as you complete levels, the words might get bigger and more complex.
What it does is allow teenagers with special needs to tap into their creative side. Moreover, it also helps them understand creative communication, how to express themselves, and understand others who are creatively expressing themselves as well. This app is great for any teenager with special needs, especially kids with autism.
First, introduce them to the app and try it out with them. If they like it and get comfortable with it, they can move on and start playing it with other people. Happy guessing!
Last but not least is painting. A fun way for your kids to express themselves is to paint and or draw their hearts out. It is an excellent way for them to express themselves creatively and uniquely.
You can give them scenarios and or objects and ask them to observe them and then draw or paint them. This will increase their observational skills while tapping into their creative side.
And who knows, they might start taking an interest in art. So are you ready for an aspiring artist?
So these were some of our ideas when it comes to different games, toys, or activities that teenagers with disabilities or special needs can do to spend their free time and also learn. Because learning can be just as fun, right?
So which one is your go-to activity for your kid?