Activities for Children with Special Needs

WIC Playground

It may be hard to determine how your child with special needs will develop, unless the disability is known. There may, however, be many activities that you can do with your child. Sometimes special equipment or changing the rules a little can help you enjoy a lot of fun times together.


Active Play: Adapted Activities in Sports for Children with Special Needs


Adaptations on Equipment

  • Larger/lighter bat
  • Use of Velcro
  • Larger goal/target
  • Mark positions on playing field
  • Lower goal/target
  • Scoops for catching
    Vary balls (size, weight, color, texture)

Adaptations on playing field or boundaries

  • Decrease distances
  • Use well-defined boundaries
  • Simplify patterns
  • Decrease playing area
  • Remove obstacles

Adaptations on Rules and Support

  • Demonstrate activity
  • Have a partner assist
  • Eliminate time limits
  • Have oral prompts
  • Extra space between players
  • Do away with outs and strike outs
  • Let ball to remain stationary
  • Let batter to sit in chair
  • Slow activity pace
  • Have rest periods

Adaptations for Sports


  • Use various size balls
  • Allow traveling
  • Allow two hand dribbling
  • Ignore three second lane violation
  • Use larger and lower net
  • If child uses wheelchair, allow him to hold ball on his lap while pushing wheelchair
  • Use beeper ball
  • Place a radio under basket for individuals with visual impairment
  • Bowling
  • Use two hands
  • Stand still when rolling ball
  • Use a ramp
  • Use a partner
  • Give verbal directions


  • Use a club with a bigger head
  • Use shorter club
  • Use lighter club
  • Use colored and larger balls
  • Practice without ball
  • Use tee for all shots
  • Shorten distance to hole


  • Walk instead of run
  • Use well defined boundaries
  • Have smaller playing field
  • Play six on a side instead of 11
  • If child has wheelchair allow to hold ball and have someone push wheelchair
  • Place a radio near goals
  • Use softer and brightly colored ball


  • Use Velcro ball and mitts
  • Use larger or smaller bats
  • Use a batting tee
  • Reduce space between bases
  • Shorten pitching distances


  • Use larger, lighter balls
  • Use shorter lighter racquets
  • Use larger head racquets
  • Lower the net or don’t use a net
  • Use bright colored ball
  • Hit ball off tee
  • Stand closer to net for serve


  • Use larger, softer and bright ball
  • Allow to catch balls
  • Lower the net
  • Reduce number of players
  • Stand closer to net
  • Allow ball to bounce
  • Hold ball and have child hit it

Back to Top

Other Adaptations

Please refer to your doctor to know what is best for your child’s disability.

Back to Top

Links to Information about Children with Special Needs


The following websites can help you find out how your child can develop, even with a disability.

Disabled Sports USA

Contains program information for this national network of community-based chapters offering a variety of sports rehabilitation and recreation programs to anyone with a permanent physical disability.

National Center on Accessibility (NCA)

Includes technical reports, educational materials, products listings, and program information for consumers; health professionals; and the parks, recreation, and tourism industries about recreation-related accessibility issues for people with disabilities. NCA is part of Indiana University's School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation.

National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD)

Offers a virtual library of resources about physical activity for people with special health care needs. Includes fact sheets about activities, games, recreational pursuits, and sports that have been adapted to the needs of people with disabilities. NCPAD is located at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD)

Contains program and event information about this outdoor therapeutic recreation organization for children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities.

National Therapeutic Recreation Society (NTRS)

Offers program information and resources about therapeutic recreation services for people with disabilities in clinical facilities and in the community. NTRS is a branch of the National Recreation and Park Association.

Special Olympics International (SOI)

Contains program and event information for SOI's year-round sports training and competitions for children, adolescents, and adults with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. Describes SOI's Healthy Athletes initiative, which offers health screenings and education to Special Olympics athletes and trains health professionals about the needs and care of people with intellectual disabilities. SOI is an international organization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive, and respected members of society through sports training and competition.

Back to Top

North County WIC Clinic

599 South 500 East
American Fork, UT 84003

801-851-7329 (fax)

Provo WIC Clinic

151 South University Ave Ste 2100
Provo, UT 84601

801-851-7303 (fax)

Orem WIC Clinic

1549 N. State Street, #104
Orem, UT 84057

801-851-7346 (fax)

South County WIC Clinic

910 E 100 N, #175
Payson, UT 84651

801-465-0911 (fax)