Winter Activities for Special Needs Children

For special needs children, reigning in on impulsive behaviour during winter playtime will keep them from bouncing around the classroom or home. Plus, it reduces the chances of lost mittens and extra wet snow pants. Check out some of these winter activities for special needs children that’ll keep them entertained well into the New Year:

Sensory Snow Fun

Jumping in piles of leaves is a wonderful tactile activity in the fall, but there’s still plenty of sensory fun to be had once the leaves are buried in the snow. Kids with special needs can find great satisfaction in building the biggest snow forts and snowmen. Steer them away from smashing them like little Godzillas afterwards though. Making snow angels, snowballs, or going on a snowshoe hiking adventure are other enjoyable sensory snow activities.


Cooking for judgmental in-laws can be stressful over the holidays. Getting your kids involved is beneficial to you both – you’ll both be having so much fun, that the final product becomes an afterthought. Cooking with your special needs kids keep them busy, focused, and they’re sure to pick up a few skills along the way. They’ll appreciate you finally allowing them to play with their food, too. Involve them in simple and messy tasks like sprinkling cookies, dipping pretzels in chocolate, or putting together some sticky s’mores.

Festive Decorating

Having your kids lend a hand in decorating your home for the holidays is an excellent way to practice their fine motor skills. They’ll also feel accomplished and proud to say they helped with the festive décor. Have them adorn your home with colourful paper garlands on banisters, stringed popcorn and cranberries on the Christmas tree, and other paper crafts like wreaths and ornaments.

Snow Painting

Untouched sheets of snow are the perfect blank canvas to let your little ones express their inner Picasso. Fill squirt bottles with water and food colouring and see where their creativity takes them. This is another fun way to refine motor skills and have them enjoy the brisk winter weather. Just be sure to lay down the rules beforehand; the ‘paint’ is for the snow, not your face!

The HelpCanadians team hopes you and your family have a wonderful holiday break! For more tips and news on raising children with special needs, check out our HelpCanadians blog!