Get going - active ideas for disabled kids
For kids to lead a healthy lifestyle they need to move about as much as they can. They need to be active for at least 60 minutes each day to make sure they're looking after their hearts and bones - but if they have an impairment, this may be more difficult. So we've come up with this range of ideas to help disabled kids be more active every day.
Fun ways to get going at home
You can play this one indoors or outside. Find a shuttlecock and table tennis bat. Divide into two teams, and take turns to bat and bowl. Just like cricket, you can score runs by the hitting the shuttlecock as far as possible. Players are out by being caught, or by hitting the shuttlecock into an agreed area.
This is a seated version of a classic obstacle race. Seat the participants at a table, and give each one three dried peas, a drinking straw, a bottle of water and their favourite healthy snack. Each participant must use the straw to blow the peas off the table, one by one. Then they must eat their snack and use the straw to drink the water.
Hide objects about the room, and try to make them as inconspicuous as possible. Give your friends a list of the objects and a pencil, then get them to hunt for the hidden treasure. They should note down where they find each object. After 20 minutes, give the answers - one point for each correct answer.
Lay out dishes and saucers of different sizes around 30-60cm apart on a table within the reach of participants. Then use a spoon to toss a small potato to each "hole" or dish using as few strokes as possible.
Water balloon relay races
Fill a few balloons with water and hand them out to the participants. If they are wheelchair users, kids can carry the balloon in their lap; they can either get themselves to the handover point or they can be pushed.
Why not try these as a family?
Bowling is great for playing family and friends, and it’s usually easy to find bowling alley nearby. There’s a range of adaptive equipment available, such as ramps, which means it’s an accessible activity for disabled kids – so everyone can join in the fun.
Swimming is a great way to get active, because the water can support your body as well as giving extra resistance to work against. It’s especially good for keeping the muscles in your arms, shoulders, chest and back strong as well as developing stamina. And it’s also a great way to unwind and have fun together as a family.
Try our family swimming games next time you go to the pool
Get active at school!
We’ve created Change4Life Sports Clubs in 7,500 schools throughout England and they aim to get everyone more active. The clubs promise to be fun and exciting for everyone. As well as conventional sports they include boccia and wheelchair basketball. If your school has a club, why not get involved?
Boccia was first popular with people with profound cerebral palsy but is now also played by people with other impairments affecting their motor skills, such as muscular dystrophy. It’s played on an indoor court by individuals, pairs or teams of three and by both boys and girls. The aim of the game is to throw leather balls as close as possible to a target ball, or jack - a bit like French boules. You score points for the closer your balls are to the jack, and the person or team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
Find out more at Boccia England
Wheelchair basketball is one of the most popular disability sports and is played by both boys and girls. It’s played on a standard basketball court with a standard 10-foot hoop. Most of the rules and scoring are the same as basketball but some have been modified to take into account that the players are in wheelchairs rather than standing. Wheelchair basketball can be as fast-paced and exciting as the original version – why not give it a go?
More information at British Wheelchair Basketball
Fancy trying something different?
These organisations also have loads more opportunities for disabled people:
Remember: If you have a serious medical condition, long-standing illness or disability, you should consult your GP before starting to exercise.