Summer time can be a challenge for any family, but for parents of a child with special health concerns, it can be extra difficult to watch their child get left out of the traditional summertime fun. These activities will be fun for the whole family, and your child with special needs can be right there along with you.

1. Outdoor Sensory Fun

Now that the weather is nice, you can let your child get messy outdoors. Set up a sensory table with rice, shaving cream, sand, and any other sloppy items you think they would enjoy. You can also use a hose to change the texture of the sand, or dirt to make mud.

2. Tent Building

You’ve probably had fun building forts inside your home with pillows. But the warmer weather makes it an ideal time to set up an outdoor tent. This provides both shade and a cozy spot to chill together or alone.

3. Bounce House

Check out your local BounceU or Pump it Up indoor bounce arenas to see if they have specific hours set aside for children with special needs. It’s a great opportunity to develop social skills, sensory skills, and more, within a comfortable and safe community.

4. Summer Camp

Summer camps for children with special needs are popping up all over the country. A quick search for local camps for children with your child’s same or similar health needs is all it takes to locate on that’s a great fit for your family.

5. Playground

Playgrounds are becoming more and more accessible these days. If you don’t know of an accessible playground in your area, you may be surprised that there is likely one nearby. A quick Internet search will help you find one.

6. Fishing

Check with your local parks and rec department to find a fishing spot that is accessible to people with special needs. Fishing is a great pastime for many families, and it can be for your family, too.

7. Fundraisers

Check out local fundraisers for advocacy groups or non-profits. The Center for Disability Rights holds a wheel-a-thon each year to benefit young people with disabilities in Connecticut. Events like this, whether for an autism group or a cancer fundraiser, allow you and your child to get out and have fun, meet new people, and raise money for a good cause.

This summer, commit to having more fun with your child – no matter their special health needs.