Saturday, October 4, 2014

Making Halloween Fun and Inclusive for Kids with Disabilities

It's October and you know what that means...Halloween is just around the corner.  Here are some tips for an inclusive, fun Halloween for kids with disabilities.

Pumpkin Carving:
- When it's time to carve the pumpkin, help your child scrape out the pulp of the pumpkin, if they want to.  Give them a chance to feel it.  They may not like it.  If not, that's okay.  But keep in mind that they may love it.  Different sensory experiences are awesome for kids with disabilities.  

- If carving pumpkins for your kids is too daunting, and if you just don't want to risk those sharp carving implements around your kiddos, get some finger paint and let them paint their pumpkins.  I still remember doing this as a very young child, and it was so much fun.  (No scraping the insides was necessary either!)

- Take cues from your child.  What do they want to be this Halloween?

- Keep in mind, costumes that fit over their heads and are easy to get on and off work best. You can also do a lot with capes, makeup, hats and masks.

- Halloween costumes were always one of the highlights of Halloween for me.  This was my favorite ever costume.  I went as a robot when I was seven years old.  (The robot was pictured on the front and back of my costume.)  I got a cool, gold mask, and my pigtails doubled as antennae.  It was awesome because my walker really added to the effect of the costume and didn't take away from it.

Check out some of the great Halloween Costumes for Kids in Wheelchairs that are out there today!

There are also a couple of suggestions for Halloween Costumes for Kids with Walkers and Crutches.

- If you are going Trick-or-Treating around your neighborhood to places that are not accessible, make sure you provide access for your child.  My parents were great at helping me get right up to the doors, even if there were steps.  Be prepared to lift or carry.

- Instead of walking long distances, take the car or van.  It will help your child stay warm, and save their energy.

- Trick or treat somewhere accessible to your child.  (An apartment building that's all one level or has an elevator, or your local elementary school or place of worship that may be handing out candy.)  That way everybody can have fun together!

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