Do you have a special needs child or know one? I have a 15 year old special needs child. He is about 65 pounds and functions at around 4-6 years old.
Spring and Summer can be tricky. I want him to go outside but I have to ensure his safety. With spring almost here I searched to find some outdoor toys that would be appropriate for special needs kiddos.
1. Step 2 Waterfall Discovery Wall playset
This is good because even if the child is in a wheelchair, you can push them right up to it. It is a double sided wall so basically flat. I like this much better than a water table. There are multiple pieces to place on the wall to make a maze for the water. Just scoop it out of the bottom & pour it in the top. Kiddos can catch or put their hands in the water as it runs down the wall.
2. Melissa and Doug Sunny Patch Tootle Turtle Target Toss Game
This comes with 4 self stick bean bags. It doesn’t matter which side of the bag hits the turtle, it will stick. Durable metal frame for kids that are mobile and may fall on it. You can alter the difficulty by changing the child’s distance from the target. Fold this up flat when not in use.
3. Outdoor Rhythm Band
This is a 3 piece set which comes with mounting brackets to mount to a wooden deck or swingset. You could purchase supplies at a hardware store to alter the mounts to attach to other surfaces. There are two drums. The third piece looks like a steering wheel. You turn it and there are beads in it that rain down. This can be mounted to an appropriate height for the child using it.
4. Children’s Nest Hanging Swing Seat
This holds up to 130 pounds. The hammock type material on the sides, along with the cushion seat helps to position them so they don’t fall over and can swing.
5. Play Tent With Tunnel & Stakes
Gives kids a place outdoors to play without worrying about the grass or dirt. If the child doesn’t like the texture of grass or they put everything in their mouth, this provides a safe place to play. It folds up compact in a small carrying case. This allows it to be taken to the park, beach, or anywhere else you travel to.
6. Jumbo Inflatable Bowling Set
The ball is 25″ in diameter and the pins are 28″ tall. If it’s windy these won’t work well but otherwise will be ok. The ball can be pushed or kicked. Family can help the child push the large ball easily. The pins are inflatable so if the child chews on things, these may not last long. It comes with a foot pump to help inflate faster. Easy storage when you deflate them.
7. Anti-Burst Sensory Goosebumps ball
This is a large knobby ball that measures 26″ in diameter. They can lay on it or sit on it. The knobby surface helps special needs kiddos grip it easier. You can adjust the inflation level of the ball to the individual child’s need.
8. Hanging Hammock Rope Chair
Many special needs kiddos love to swing. This does not have a harness but it does lean back to help them stay in. It holds up to 265 pounds. At under $40, this is a much cheaper option than the $300+ special needs swings.
9. Monster Toss
I found this on specialneedstoys.com website. It’s a little pricy at $43 but is made of a durable wood that will last a long time. I like that this has three large openings. It will help the child be more successful tossing the bag. It comes with 6 bean bags. You can adjust the child’s distance from the board to increase the difficulty.
10. Play Foam
This is a no mess option for kids to play with. It doesn’t stick to their hands, clothes, or anything else. It is non-toxic and non-allergenic. It does not dry out. Easy to put in a bag for on the go quiet entertainment.
11. Monkey Mat
Great for kids that don’t want a play tent or are too big for it. This mat is 5’x 5′ when opened. The corners have weights and stakes to hold it in place. It folds up in a 6″x 6″ compact pouch. There are center loops that you can attach toys to. It is water repellant and machine washable.
12. Reachargable Handheld Humidifier Fan
There are many different styles of these out there. We love them. You can set them on continuous or intermittent mist to help keep a child from getting overheated. There are some that are hand held, some with a clip, and some with a base.
All of these products (except the water wall) can be used indoors or outdoors. All except for the monster toss can be found on Amazon.
If you have other ideas of great outdoor toys for special needs kiddos, please leave me a comment with the product name & a link if possible.