Engaging Special Children into Extracurricular Activities

Pooja Sharma
February 18, 2013 — 878 views  

Extracurricular activities play an important role in every child's life. Children with disabilities who participate in extracurricular activities develop skills, talents and friendships. Children with special needs often feel excited and thrilled when they participate in the ‘extra activities' in school besides regular academics. It is often seen that special children have extra talents in certain fields; therefore exposure for them is very necessary.  Some avenues can be like – music, drama, dance, art, sports drill etc.

Participating in extra-curricular activities provides opportunity to special children to make new friends and mingle around with other children. It builds their interpersonal, communication and academic skills. Also helps them to learn new skills, improve their talents and self-esteem, and develop relationships with their peers.

Certain activities for special children

All physically and mentally handicapped children must be encouraged to play outdoors. Praise or appreciate the child, when he performs well in the activities. Make him or her feel successful. Make it fun time for kids so that they perform their best and get motivated for more.

Activities for visually challenged children

  • They can play with large hoops and balls and other oversized toys on playground.
  • Beanbag game is also good for children with limited vision. Move the equipment closer to the child during the game.
  • They can be asked to touch the pieces of chess on the board and describe it verbally.

Activities for wheelchair bound children

  • Those children who are wheel chair bound and can have only upper body movement can throw, bounce and receive a ball in a group activity or a circle game.
  • Help them do gardening. Place bag of top soil on a table and create a tabletop garden. Let them place sapling or insert small plants of flowers or even sow seeds in them. Encourage child to take care of the sapling, water it every day and watch it grow.

Activities for sensory deficit and ADHD children

  • Make perceptual or sensory deficit children listen to recording of birdcalls and other unusual sounds. Adjusts its volume control and ask them to recognize these sounds. You can even take them for a nature walk.
  • Play listening and moving games with attention deficit disorder children (ADHD). Place items on the playground or allocate points to run around. For example, say, "jump five times on one foot;" "Run around the flagpole six times".

While participating in any activity it is the safety concern that always comes first. Therefore, special children must always be coached or under supervision, especially when trying new competitive sport.

Pooja Sharma