Hosting a fun party for kids of all abilities
Quick tips for hosting a fun party for all kids – including kids with a disability
Hosting an inclusive kids’ party where everyone can have fun, including kids with a disability, can seem tricky. If a child with mobility issues has to sit on the side watching everyone else have fun, that’s no good. If a child with autism becomes overwhelmed and has to leave early, that doesn’t work either.
Well, put those fears aside. Hosting a fun accessible is not so difficult.
Here are some quick tips to help you get started.
1. Talk to the parents
You might think you’re making a big deal about your guest’s disability by talking the parents. Well, a simple phone call to the parents goes a long way to show your care. Also, they’re in the best position to tell you everything you need to know about their child’s needs.
You can involve parents in the party preparation or as one of the supervising adults. That way, they’re available to help if you’re thrown a curve ball. Their presence might make their child more comfortable too.
Tip: Only because two kids have the same disability, it doesn’t mean their needs are the same.
2. Be food-aware
Many children have food allergies or sensitivities, so it’s smart to take these into account. But children with disabilities are often fussy eaters.
You could include a fill-in section on the RSVP slip or, better yet, ask parents to contact you directly. That way there’s less room for miscommunication.
3. Remember, one size doesn’t fit all!
It’s easy to cater for one kind of disability, but it’s quite common for a class to have a range of different disabilities.
The key is to remember that each child is different. You’ll want to address the specific needs of your guest list. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. For example, have a low-stimulation time-out area for children with autism or sensory processing difficulties. Try having some soft music, cosy cushions, books, and Lego for children to enjoy.
4. Plan for accessibility
When setting the party area, be it at home or in a public place, think about potential accessibility issues. For example, will you need a ramp for the wheelchair, or any extra to help carry any assistive device?
5. Plan activities carefully
Wherever possible, keep the party schedule relaxed and easy going, rather than having a packed schedule of activities. Have different activity areas, so that children can mingle about, take part in what they like, and skip what they don’t like.
Tip: Children with disability could inadvertently be left out of the camaraderie. You might need to guide things in the right direction.
Finally, we hope your next party is a raging success!