Thanksgiving Activities For Special Needs Kids
The holidays are coming up fast, and this week I’ve been getting our Thanksgiving craft ready. We will be making turkey potatoes! We have googly eyes to put on the potatoes, and we’ll give them legs and hair. It will be a lot of fun, as well as being a great fine motor activity for your kiddos!
I’ve also been thinking about Thanksgiving and holiday schedules. Parents often struggle with holidays because it’s a change in schedule and a change in routine.
I want you to be mindful of the fact that holiday time is a very busy time, and it’s also a very unstructured time. If you’re going to drive to see the relatives and visit at their house all day, or if you have people at your home all day, whatever your holiday routine is, make sure you build in some activity into the day so that your kiddos aren’t becoming bored. As they become bored they typically become behavioral, and then you’ll have many more challenges with them.
Screen Time if Parade Isn’t Capturing Attention
I love to watch a parade, but many of my kiddos would be bored watching a parade. It’s okay to have some screen time but don’t make the whole day screen time, because transitioning out of screen time can be very challenging!
Coloring, Cooking, Go Outside
During the summer I talked to you about how important it is to keep some kind of schedule in your day. The same thing goes for the holidays. You might make sure to do a coloring activity, and maybe let them get involved with the cooking process. I would develop a routine that includes perhaps Dad going outside to play catch with them, or taking them to the park during the day while nothing’s going on. Remember, holidays are long days and there are stretches where nothing is going on!
More Than Just Eating
Holidays are not only long days, but they are long days focused on food. This is an exciting time for some of our kids, but many of our kids struggle with food and struggle with a lot of the textures of those foods. These foods might not have the same motivating factor for the kids that they do for us. Just because we love the food, that doesn’t mean our kiddos will!
So make sure you have some sensory-friendly foods available, and some sensory-friendly activities, along with different things they can do so that they can transition in and out of activities and not just sit there.
I hope these ideas help you to have a more peaceful holiday. And I hope your kiddos and you enjoy our Thanksgiving craft!