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Winter Activities for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Winter Activities for Children with Cerebral Palsy

When the winter arrives, it can often be trickier for parents of children with cerebral palsy to find activities that are easily accessible. Colder and icier weather can reduce mobility and make going outside more daunting, but it’s good to get out and about, enjoy the fresh air and, most importantly, have fun! There are, of course, lots of activities that can also be enjoyed indoors.

In this blog, SpecialKids Company suggests some winter activities for kids with cerebral palsy. These can all be adapted to meet the needs of your child.

bubbles special kids school sensory

Sensory Activities for children with special needs

Sensory play can be so much fun and can be done in the comfort of your own home or outside in the garden. It can include smells, visuals, sounds, touch and tastes. Here are a few sensory activity ideas for you to consider:-


  • Making Gloop - Making gloop is so easy – you just need cornflour and water. It’s such an interesting sensory experience as the mixture turns from a runny liquid to a solid and back again. Beware – it can be a little messy!
  • Freezing Toys in Ice - Yes, you did just read that! Freezing toys in ice is such an easy thing to do and can be so much fun for children. They can watch the ice melt, helping it along the way with some water, or explore ways of trying to get the toy out.
  • Painting - Painting can be done in lots of different ways, for example, using your hands and feet, a brush or a sponge. It’s great to get creative!
  • Baking - Baking is a great sensory experience for children with special needs. From feeling the cake mixture to tasting the cake, it is something that everyone can get involved in.
  • Playing with Bubbles – Whether you use a bubble wand or a bubble machine, all children love to watch and pop bubbles. You can do this standing up, sitting or lying down at home or in an outdoor space.
  • Music Time – Children love listening and moving to music. You can use simple actions to songs, such as ‘the wheels on the bus’ and get creative with homemade instruments such as shakers (using a bottle and some rice) or saucepan drums! 



    Swimming is a great sensory experience for children with Cerebral Palsy. Not only is it an opportunity to have fun - swimming also benefits children with special needs as it  is a good form of exercise and even therapy. It’s important to contact your local swimming pool to find out if they have appropriate changing facilities and any equipment that you might need to access the pool. They might even have quieter ‘sensory-friendly’ sessions. Everybody should have the opportunity to swim.

    SpecialKids Company offers a selection of incontinence swimsuits that will help your child to feel comfortable and secure if they have any continence issues.

    swimming special kids

    Trampoline Parks and Soft Play Centres

    Visiting a trampoline park or soft play centre can be a good way to let off steam and have fun. Lots of venues have quieter sessions for children with special needs, which can be particularly handy during busier times, like school holidays. It is worthwhile calling ahead and finding out.

    Adapted Activities for Children with Cerebral Palsy

    Contact local charities to find out about any adapted activities for children with Cerebral Palsy. For example, indoor winter activities at ski and snow centres and ice rinks. Some venues have adapted skis and sledges that can be used by children with special needs who require more support in order to participate. 

    Charities should also be able to tell you about any local SOMA (supporting opportunities for motor activities) events and family fun days.

    Watching a Movie

    Who doesn’t love to watch a movie? You can do this in the comfort of your own home or visit the cinema. If your child has any sensory issues your local cinema might have more relaxed screenings of movies to help meet the needs of children with special needs and sensory impairments, often referred to as ‘autism-friendly screenings’.

    Simple Games to Play 

    There are plenty of simple games that you can play with your child, which are fun, stimulating and good for aiding fine and gross motor skills. For example, colour matching (you could use something as simple as a pair of socks), ‘I Spy’, shape sorting and puzzles. There are also lots of great, simple games that you can download for tablets and iPads.

    We hope that you find these suggestions useful. Please let us know if you have any activities to share!

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