Today I have a guest post for you from Sharon from Love Lucias Parties who is a party planner. However, in this post it is specifically information on how to plan a party for a child with special needs.
Party Planning for Kids with Special Needs
Planning a party for any child can involve quite a bit of work. But sometimes, planning a party for a child with special needs takes a little more thought.
As with any child’s birthday party, the important thing is to focus on what your child likes. Just because your child has special needs, doesn’t mean they don’t still need to be kids. A birthday party is almost like a rites of passage in childhood after all. It doesn’t have to follow a strict schedule and can be as flexible as you want or need it to be.
Make sure you have planned plenty of activities in advance, but really just go with the flow. Here are just a few tips to help you get started with your party planning:
Arts and Crafts party
Both boys and girls can have a lot of fun doing arts and crafts. Some children with limited mobility may need some extra help but that shouldn’t be too tricky. It can be a great sensory experience as well as fun. The children can make anything they like, from princess tiaras to pirate hats. Just think about what your child is into. The finished crafts can be taken home instead of party bags.
Check what’s available in your area, but some cinemas put on specific screenings for children with special needs. The great thing about this is that you can all enjoy watching the film and not worry about disturbing other people. If you don’t want to go to the cinema, then you can always have a cinema party at home. Choose a specific film that perhaps your child hasn’t watched, but you know they will love and create the party’s theme around that.
Music and Sing-a-long Party
If your child loves music than this type of party could be ideal. If they go to a specialist school, then you might be lucky and the school’s music therapist might also do private parties. The school may even let you borrow some of their sensory toys and music equipment. But there are also numerous music entertainers experienced with entertaining special needs children. Get the other kids to bring along their favourite noise makers too.
If your child loves books and stories then a story-time party is a fantastic idea. If they have a favourite story, then you could make that the theme of the party. Perhaps even get some of the grown-ups to dress up and act out parts of the story to make it come alive. The children can also make their own bookmarks to take home afterwards. If you have time, you could write a little story to print out and give to the children as a keepsake from the party.
Many special needs children have special diets. If your child cannot eat cake, perhaps don’t centre the party around it. But you can still have cake for everyone else and sing happy birthday. Also, if you’ve invited other children with special needs, let parents know what food will be available and check about any allergies in advance.
Cheers for reading