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By Elizabeth Givler

Ah, family activities. Finding activities that are interesting for everyone in the family, especially those with special needs, can be challenging. Here’s some ideas that may work for you throughout the year:

Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels

Bowling. Ramps for bowling balls make it easy to bowl even with challenges with hand movement, hand/eye coordination, or motor planning. Bumpers mean a greater chance of success, since they block gutter balls! In the summer, some bowling alleys have free games. Search for “kids bowl free” to find facility near you.

Short IMAX movies. These are a treat. We joined our local science museum and get a discount on IMAX tickets. IMAX is very cool, and the documentaries are not that long, perfect for everyone’s attention span.

Crop unrecognizable traveler driving car on asphalt road in countryside
Photo by ArtHouse Studio on Pexels

Road trip! Road trip! In the spring, go to garden stores and buy seeds to plant. Yard sales are a big hit in the summer (and a motivator for doing chores, wink wink). Fall is a great time for going to corn mazes, fall festivals, and hay rides. Each Christmas bring Christmas lights.

ice cream, waffles, food, summer break, summer vacation
Photo by silviarita on Pixabay

Going out for ice cream / slushies. Nothing like relaxing and eating together. For those with dietary concerns, consider picnics in a park or even in the back yard.
Simple games and activities. There are UNO cards that are waterproof. Blowing bubbles and sidewalk chalk are fun at the park. Play Simon Says or Twenty Questions. Sometimes a change in scenery makes the games more fun.

Family fun is indeed possible for special needs families. Make sure fun is on the agenda, and your family relationships will bloom.

Elizabeth Givler and her husband raise three kids, two of which are on the autism spectrum. Elizabeth has a passion for equipping other special needs families to live as “normal” lives as possible. Elizabeth is a sought-after consultant for nonprofit and faith-based organizations regarding inclusion and natural supports. Currently she teaches clarinet lessons to students with and without special needs and assists families with special dietary needs through her Wildtree business. Read her blog at or contact Elizabeth at

Copyright by Elizabeth Givler 2011.

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