Enjoy End-of-Summer Fun With Your Special Needs Child

A practical list of ideas to keep your special child busy until school starts.


Published:

Photo courtesy of Zaikina/Shutterstock.com

Walk into any retail or grocery store and most likely you will find a variety of school supplies and “must have’s” for the first day of school  a sure sign that summer is almost over.  

I don’t know about your family, but we are not ready to give in to the first day of school — at least not yet. We still plan day trips and try to take advantage of every break. I recognize this is difficult for some parents who need resources and school support, but with only about three weeks left of summer, there might be some items on this list that would be a favorable break for your child.

If you are tired of the heat and not sure where to go or what to do with your exceptional child, here are some entertaining options. 

  • Prepare for the winter holidays and make hand prints, thumb prints or foot prints now to use as Thanksgiving placemats or Christmas ornaments later. Parents can take their children outside to play in the sprinkler while the finger paint is washed off their hands and feet; taking care of the messy part now will save time during the holiday rush
     
  • Invite some classmates over for a “water picnic.” It is never too soon to visit with your child’s friends and families from school. Hot afternoons with a sprinkler or hose are a fun and interactive way for our children to become familiar with his or her friends again.
     
  • If you have a teen who is able but needs practice learning life skills, drop him or her off at the grocery store with a small list of items and enough money to buy what’s on the list. This may seem unusual, but teenagers love to feel independent and valued. Going alone to shop helps them feel confident. Most likely they will be encouraged by the independence, but don’t be surprised if your child comes home with something not on the list. Have fun with this idea. Parents will find comfort knowing their child can handle it.
     
  • Explore E. Carroll Joyner Park at 701 Harris Road, Wake Forest. I love this park for exceptional children because it has an amazing variety of activities for the entire family. Accessible paved trails, amphitheaters, flower gardens, fishing, charcoal grills and plenty of space to have a good old-fashioned picnic. Parents will find an opportunity for a historical learning experience while touring and reading about the restored farm buildings on the property. Watch a great family movie under the stars on Saturday nights at 8:30 p.m. for free.

Photo of E. Carroll Joyner Park courtesy of Town of Wake Forest

  • Check out Richard Childress Racing Museum at 236 Industrial Drive in Welcome North Carolina. NASCAR fans who don’t mind a bit of a day trip, will find this racing museum incredible. About two hours from downtown Raleigh, this museum has more than 50 race cars and trucks on display in its 47,000 square feet of race car history. It offers elevator access to the observation area. Tours are self-guided. It is recommended that guests call for availability and admission fees. Call 800-476-3389 for details. 
  • Visit the Clayton River Walk in Clayton, North Carolina. If your family loves the outdoors, check out the footbridge over the Neuse River. A 4-mile accessible trail runs along the Neuse River and connects to the Neuse River Trail. Enjoy a magnificent day of clean air and beautiful scenery.  Adventurous families might want to visit other accessible trails in North Carolina. For a complete list, visit Trail Link.

C.C. Malloy lives in Greensboro and is a steadfast supporter of children with a disability. Any information here should not be considered legal advice and counsel should be sought for personal educational guidance. For additional support, please visit her website, Bizigal’s Exceptional Blooms.

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About this Blog

A ‘Special’ World

Mom of three is a special needs advocate


About This Blog

C.C. Malloy is a disability advocate and the mother of three fantastic young adults. A freelance writer, C.C. writes about the challenges parents with special needs children face from the start of elementary school through college. Her blog focuses on helping parents cope with the functions of their child's disability and educational accommodations. She has been published in a variety of publications and currently writes a blog for Piedmont Parent magazine. For additional  support, please visit her personal blog at Bizigal's Exceptional Blooms.

 

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May 2020

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More information

Live online classes for kids - FREE! Kids and families can join our online classes from home while school is out. Our special guests teach kids about art, medicine, music, cooking, science and...

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Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
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View map »


Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
Website »

More information

Live online classes for kids - FREE! Kids and families can join our online classes from home while school is out. Our special guests teach kids about art, medicine, music, cooking, science and...

Cost: Free

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View map »


Sponsor: ActivityHero
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More information

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Sponsor: The International Brotherhood of Magicians
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More information

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Cost: $11

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Contact Name: Kelly
Website »

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Calling all Black tech leaders and visionaries! Are you looking to spur future collaborations, discover new business and career opportunities, and invest in this community? Join us for T.H.E. State...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Durham Convention Center
301 W Morgan St
Durham, NC  27701
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Contact Name: Tarryn Henry
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Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
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Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
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Live online classes for kids - FREE! Kids and families can join our online classes from home while school is out. Our special guests teach kids about art, medicine, music, cooking, science and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online at your Home
265 Cambridge Ave #60923
Palo Alto, NC  94306
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Sponsor: ActivityHero
Telephone: 800-437-6125
Contact Name: Mabelle
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Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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The 16th Annual (Virtual) Beaver Queen Pageant, Beavers in the Stream! The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-423-1502
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
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We invite all Triangle youth between the ages of 8 thru 17 with a sincere interest in the Performance Art of Magic to join Magic Youth Raleigh! This youth program teaches magic history and theory,...

Cost: $35 per Student

Where:
New Horizons Fellowship
820 E. Williams St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: The International Brotherhood of Magicians
Contact Name: Roger Way
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The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver personalities and compete for the title of Beaver Queen with their fashion,...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-698-9729
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
Website »

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River Jam at the U.S. National Whitewater Center brings together live musical performances throughout the year to a one-of-a-kind outdoor venue, right in the middle of the world’s largest...

Cost: $6

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
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Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Contact Name: Jenny Hill
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