5-holiday social skills activities for kids with special-needs

The Holidays are a great time to spend with family doing activities, here are a few suggestions.

5 Holiday Activities for special-needs kids

The leaves have fallen, frosty nights have arrived, and the crisp bite of snow announces itself with each deep breath of fresh air we take. Late fall is about to shift into early winter. This season brings with it cozy nights curled up by the fire and short days filled with a bounty of opportunities for socializing and celebrating the joyous holiday season.

From the day after Halloween until the day after New Year’s, our world is suddenly alive with so many sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and textures of the holidays. We can wrap ourselves up in them and be carried away on a glorious series of magical adventures.

What cherished holiday traditions or new experiences do you look forward to sharing with your child this season? What are his or her favorites from previous years? Does she look forward to going caroling with a group? Is he excited about seeing lights and festivities?

Perhaps you are looking for a few ideas for special social skills activities you can enjoy together this year. Perfect!

Here are 5 of our favorite high fun, low budget ideas to create memorable holiday magic:

Card Making and Delivering

One of the most beautiful aspects of the winter holiday season is how it inspires us all to step back and consider others needs and feelings. We remember to care for others and do every little bit we can to make their lives better.

An excellent way to share the joy of giving with your child is by making homemade holiday cards and delivering them to nursing homes (call ahead to ensure it is okay for you to deliver them). Brightening the day of someone who may otherwise be lonely at the holidays is a very special way to celebrate the season of giving.


Another thing that nursing home and long-term rehab residents often enjoy is hearing groups of carolers come though. You don’t have to be an amazing singer – what touches them the most is a warm smile and the palpable joy and breath of fresh air you and your “choir” exude. Put together a group and call the home’s events coordinator to set up a caroling time.

Building Gingerbread Houses

Practicing hand-eye-coordination and teamwork are hidden benefits of the time-honored tradition of building a gingerbread house with friends. You can still make the dough from scratch if you want, but it is also very easy to simply buy a kit at the store and supplement with extra decorations. Invite friends over for a gingerbread house building party!

Ice Skating

Both indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks pop up all over during this season. They provide a perfect opportunity to get some exercise, improve motor skills, and meet new friends. If your child isn’t particularly coordinated, call and see if the rink offers balance aids or chairs which can provide extra support on the ice.

Roasting Chestnuts

Play the holiday classic song while you do roast chestnuts “on the open fire.” It will be a memorable family evening gathered around the warmth of the fire, sharing in one of the most quintessential of holiday traditions.

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