Each month my church holds a game night for children and adults with special needs. Both the children and adults love to play all sorts of games from Go Fish to relay races. They are all smiles and laughs as they play. Most kids love to play games, even children with special needs! It can be tough to come up with games to meet the needs of all of the children in your ministry. Maybe you have a child that uses a wheelchair or a child that has Autism. Don’t let their disabilities stop you from fully including them in the games you choose! Here are some tips for adapting games to meet the needs of the children with special needs in your ministry:
1. Have your kids pair up. Instead of only giving the child with special needs a buddy, have everyone find a friend to play the game with. This way the child with special needs still receives friendly help but will not feel singled out.
2. Keep your kid’s disabilities in mind when selecting games. If you have a child in your ministry with a certain physical disability make sure you are mindful of this when choosing games to play. This may look like avoiding games with small pieces that would be difficult for that child to pick up. This could also mean making your field of play smaller to accommodate their physical needs.
3. Modify the rules and equipment to make it easier on your kids with special needs. Change the rules for everyone instead of simply altering the rules for only the children with special needs. This makes the game fair and again avoids making those children feel as if they are getting “special treatment” or being singled out.
For more tips on adapting games check out this post!