SPECIALLY DESIGNED ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS WITH DISABILITIES
Kids with disabilities need fun activities too! Playing and doing hobbies helps them make friends, learn new things, and feel like they belong. Whether it’s adaptive sports, creative arts, nature exploration, or other inclusive programs, these activities are important for their happiness and growth. Look for these activities in your communities, so your kids can have a great time and develop new talents.
Adaptive sports are sports activities specially designed for kids with disabilities. These sports make it possible for children with different abilities to participate and have fun, just like their peers. Here are some examples of adaptive sports that kids can join:
- Wheelchair Basketball: This is a basketball game played in wheelchairs. It allows children who use wheelchairs to play and compete on an equal footing.
- Para-Athletics: Para-athletics includes track and field events adapted for kids with disabilities. They can try running, jumping, throwing, and other exciting activities.
- Goalball: Goalball is a sport designed for children with visual impairments. Players try to score goals by rolling a ball with bells into the opponent’s net while using their senses to locate the ball.
- Boccia: Boccia is a game similar to bowling or petanque. It is played indoors and is perfect for kids with limited mobility. Players take turns rolling or throwing balls to get them as close as possible to a target ball.
- Wheelchair Tennis: Similar to regular tennis, wheelchair tennis allows children who use wheelchairs to participate. They use specially designed sports wheelchairs and play on adapted courts.
These adaptive sports give kids with disabilities the chance to experience the joy of playing sports, improve their physical fitness, develop teamwork skills, and boost their self-confidence. Browse these local organizations and clubs in the links below that offer these sports programs and meet other kids who share the same interests.
Trails Adaptive: wheelchair tennis, cycling & more
Common Ground: Summer Adventures
Creative arts activities give children with disabilities the opportunity to express themselves, communicate their emotions, and engage in enjoyable experiences. There are classes or workshops specifically designed for kids with disabilities, where they can meet other children who share their interests.
Elevate Theatre Company: Age 18 +
LEADD Literary Arts: Age 18 +
Art Haven: Programs for young children throughout Utah
Sensory Friendly Movies: Megaplex
Being outside and exploring nature is important for all kids, including those with disabilities. There are trails throughout Utah that are made for everyone, nature centers with accessible features and sensory gardens. Being in nature is good for their senses, makes them feel relaxed, and helps them appreciate the environment.
Access Pass: A free (1 time processing $10 fee), lifetime pass – available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States that have been medically determined to have a permanent disability (does not have to be a 100% disability) – that provides admittance to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by five Federal agencies.
Discounted Wildlife LIscenses: Fishing, hunting, etc.
Inclusive playgrounds can bring all kids together to play. These playgrounds have equipment that everyone can use, like swings and slides. They also have things that help kids with different disabilities. Consider these Utah-inclusive playgrounds to visit this summer.
All Together Playground: Orem
All Abilities Park, Adventure Heights: Spanish Fork
Thunder Junction: St. George
Doterra Discovery Park: Pleasant Grove
Whittier Adventure Playground: Logan
Sierra Newbold Park (review from Utahsadventurefamily.com): West Jordan
Cory B. Wride Memorial Park: Eagle Mountain
Draper City Unity Playground: Draper
Creekside Park (review from Utahsadventurefamily.com): Bountiful
Gaming and Technology:
There are adaptive gaming options and devices that make it easier for those with disabilities to enjoy.
Video Gaming Accessibility: NLS Resources (adapting game controllers, articles and more!)
Types of Gaming Assistive Technology: Makers Making Change Article