Modifying Easter activities for the special needs child

Are you frustrated that your child is unable to participate or enjoy a traditional Easter Egg hunt?  We have some great suggestions to make Easter just for them!

Easter egg hunt
An egg hunt is not fun if you never get the chance to find an egg. If this is your child, consider not attending your town’s local egg hunt and do your own. Here’s how:

Egg hunt for just your children
Hide your eggs in your own home or backyard. Consider having the eggs out in the open to make them easy to find. If you have several children in your home, select one color for each child. This ensures that everyone will get the same amount of eggs.

For children in wheelchairs, hide mini eggs and trinkets in a plastic container full of rice or Easter basket grass that is at table level. Here are more creative ideas for making your own Easter themed sensory box. For children with vision impairments, you can now purchase beeping or talking Easter eggs.

Work on skills while having fun
Older children may enjoy a treasure hunt. Write clues on how to find deeply hidden Easter eggs. This is a good exercise for children learning to follow step by step instructions or working on vocabulary skills. Children can follow a series of clues (e.g. First clue: Look under the potted plant in the kitchen) or put together a riddle format (e.g. I’m hiding behind a small appliance that makes things toasty).

Neighborhood egg hunt
If you like the social aspect of the big egg hunt, you can host your own egg hunt for very little money. Invite your neighbors with kids to a backyard Easter egg hunt. Have every family drop off 14 filled eggs before the day of the hunt. Hide these eggs in your yard (ask your neighbor if you can use their yard to make the hunting space larger).

Remind kids that the rule is to find 14 eggs and no more. This allows everyone the fun of getting eggs. If you have it in your budget, put a number inside a few eggs. The kids can turn in these numbers for a small gift. This adds a little extra excitement to the egg hunt.

Educate the community
Don’t have an accessible egg hunt in your area? Educate your local park district or other organizations hosting these events. Special needs children deserve to have just as much fun as other kids. Outline the needs of individuals with your child’s disability. Then follow up with a phone call. One person or local disability group can make a difference in their neighborhood. All it takes is one well placed call or email.

Special diets
Children with juvenile diabetes, Celiac disease, food allergies and other dietary restrictions have a tough time on Easter with all the chocolate bunnies and eggs. Here are some non-candy alternative treats.

Decorating Easter eggs
Trying to pick up an Easter egg with those little metal egg holders is difficult for all kids, let alone the child with fine motor difficulties. Here are some alternative ideas. Instead, use a crayon on a warm egg to make melted color designs. Try sponge-painting, stickers, glitter or stencils.

With a little imagination it is easy to make this a holiday event that both you and your child can enjoy!

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