Halloween is a fun time of year for people of all ages, often including fancy dress, party games and spooky decorations! When considering your Halloween celebrations, it is important to choose activities, costumes and events that are inclusive and allow everyone to take part, no matter what their disability may be.
Things to consider when planning an inclusive Halloween:
- Include non-edible treats for your trick-or -treaters who aren’t able to eat sweets. Children with allergies, diabetes or disabilities that impact their ability to swallow will be grateful for alternative, treats like stickers, crayons, small toys etc.
- Use face paints as an alternative to Halloween masks where possible. Think about children who may need to lip read or see facial expressions, or those who may find a mask on their face too stimulating from a sensory perspective.
- Incorporate mobility aids or assistive technology into a costume – some great inspiration can be found here:
- Consider trick-or-treaters with sensory processing issues, autism or epilepsy, and how scary noises, bright flashing lighting or smoke machines may affect them.
Below are 5 spooktacular activity ideas that are fun and accessible for children with disabilities.
1. Pumpkin painting
Instead of carving a pumpkin, why not try some messy, sensory pumpkin painting? Get creative with different textures, hand/foot prints, glitter, googly eyes, and make them look as scary/non-scary as you like!
2. Eyeballs and brains
Fill a bowl with brains and eyeballs (spaghetti and ping pong balls) and see how many eyeballs you can find in 1 minute. For added slime factor, add some hair gel, moisturiser or tomato ketchup – have the cleansing wipes close by for this one!
3. Sensory Bags
If your child prefers not-so-messy play, create a sensory bag. Fill a sealable food bag full of gooey liquid, such as hair gel or shaving foam, add a gruesome shade of food colouring and pop in some tactile objects like plastic spiders or even some of your spaghetti brains to make a clean but satisfyingly squishy sensory bag.
4. Pass the pumpkin
This one is simple - using a balloon as a pumpkin, the aim is to pass the pumpkin around a circle with some music playing. When the music stops, whoever last touched the pumpkin gets the job of stopping the music next time round. Play until you have one winner left!
5. Musical ‘scares’
A take on musical chairs that is accessible for wheelchair users, but uses pictures of ghosts, monsters and other Halloween characters secured onto the floor instead of chairs. The aim is to move around the area away from the monsters while the music is playing, then find a monster/ghost to move over when the music stops.
We believe that children of all ages and abilities should get to join in the Halloween fun. We would love to see your Halloween moments. Tag us with #madeformovementglobal #halloween on Instagram. Happy Halloween!
Jen Ferguson has a clinical background as a paediatric physiotherapist, working for the NHS in the North East of England before joining the Made for Movement team. As Territory Manager, she thrives on sharing her knowledge and experience with therapists, families and individuals with disabilities. Jen feels very passionate that exercise and physical activity should be accessible for everyone, and loves seeing first-hand the enjoyment that movement brings to so many people she meets in her role.
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