BJ is a big fan of an Easter egg hunt but he doesn’t eat chocolate. I find it shocking that any child of mine should not like chocolate but I am always willing to help him out with any he is given. We have always had an egg hunt but it has been tricky to find things to substitute for chocolate. That’s why I put this post together on Easter fun for kids with special needs in 2015. I have just completed a 2016 guide to Easter alternatives which you can read here when you’ve finished reading this one.
I am sure BJ is not alone as many children with special needs have difficulties with certain foods so I thought I’d share some of our ideas for a fun Easter.
BJ usually walks with assistance to do an egg hunt and finds the eggs that are strategically placed at a good height for him. Plastic eggs are a fantastic way for children to participate in a hunt without needing chocolate. The eggs pictured below open so they could have a small toy inside or simply be collected to exchange for a larger gift. We used blue tac to stick the eggs to the wall at wheelchair or walking frame height. In Australia the plastic eggs can be bought at dollar stores and our US friends can purchase these online here.
I have been scouring the stores to find alternatives to chocolate gifts for Easter for different ages and abilities. I hope you find something for your child.
Books are a wonderful gift and for younger children there are a great range of Easter themed books.
BJ was given “Guess How Much I Love You” when he was little and it was one of my favourite gifts he ever received as it is such a beautiful story. I love the idea of books about Bilbys because it is nice to see Australian animals being represented in a book.
BJ used to love touch and feel books when he was little and this opened up the opportunity talk about different textures. “Spot’s First Easter” lift-the-flap was his favourite book when he was small.
A very good friend of mine (yes, we do share a surname but we are not related) has written two books which are getting fantastic reviews on Amazon. These books are geared towards boys and girls, 8 years to mid-teens. Skye and Brandon Belle are siblings who go on adventures across the world to find treasure, learning Christian values and truths along the way. I like the fact that Skye is a strong character in her own right. It is available in e-book and paperback. Full details on the first book, The Lost Treasure of Persia can be found here and you can find out more about The Copper Map here.
Hair ties, bracelets and necklaces are the perfect size to fit into the little plastic eggs for a hunt. Bath fizzers have always been popular with AJ. AJ liked the fun of watching them fizz and dissolve and I liked the fact that they gave her joy and didn’t need to be stored. These also come in a dinosaur theme at Target.
While in America last year I bought some gorgeous paper mache eggs at World Market and these are a good size to put a gift inside. I also love the old fashioned pictures on the eggs. They came in a variety of sizes and would make a lovely Easter egg hunt with gifts inside.
Pictured left – Grip ball can be great fun and most come with an adjustable strap to attach to your child’s hand. Catching the ball with velcro makes it a little easier and it is good hand function getting the ball off. I found this one at a dollar store. Middle picture – Easter egg chalk is nice and chunky making for an easier grip that the usually skinny chalk sticks that break easily. I found this in a toy store and at a newsagent. Pictured right – Foam palm stampers make painting fun and easy. These come with an elastic strap at the back to secure on to a child’s hand. These are from Spotlight.
Ball play is always popular in our house. Different sizes have suited BJ over the years from small hand balls (left) to the larger character ones. Sticky tumbling characters used to always give him a good giggle. They are thrown against a wall and there is great anticipation as kids watch the sticky footed character climb down which happens at varying speeds and with differing success rates. If there are two children in the family it is fun to have races. I found all these items in Target and they were under $10.
Older kids may prefer character Wall Crawlers, like the Spider-man one pictured above, but being Marvel branded it is more expensive than the generic one in the previous photo. BJ loves his dvds so this is a guaranteed winner. He is currently enjoying the Mr Bean cartoon series. To be honest, we all enjoy these.
Nail polish, wind-up toys and bubbles (I found the Easter bubble toy at Spotlight) are all small and inexpensive as an Easter present.
Our kids have loved the face washers that grow (put them in water and they “grow” to full size) like the Hello Kitty one pictured above. I also found grow pillowcases in Hello Kitty and Ninja Turtles which I thought would make a good gift. The face washers are under $5 and the pillowcases are $15 at Best and Less. I have also seen the face washers at theme parks and other places like the Disney Stores in America.
I love Beatrix Potter and thought that the letters with characters attached would make a lovely gift for a boy or girl. I found these for $15.95 at David Jones. There are similar ones on Amazon.
Older boys are always trickier to buy for I think. I found a few things I thought may appeal. The Hot Wheels cars come with a few Easter eggs inside (found at David Jones) and I can imagine lots of boys liking the bug catcher and a light up magnifier (found at Target).
Princess Lip Smackers, Play-Doh Bunny & Chick Stampers or a magazine are all fun ideas to replace chocolate.
I found this egg Headz in Woolworths for $3. It is like a mini Mr Potato Head so it is very good for hand function.
I tried to keep my suggestions under $20 BUT I did find a few items over that limit that I felt were too cute not to add to the list. In Build-a-Bear I spied three cute rabbits. The one pictured on the left is $20 and the two on the far right are $30 each without the clothes. All clothing and accessories are extra. Lastly, I think the Villeroy and Boch trinket boxes are a beautiful keepsake. At David Jones they were $29.95.
In the lead up to Easter I have always enjoyed spending time doing art and craft with the kids. Every year AJ bakes an Easter themed cake and of course there is always fun to be had with some home-made play-doh with some of our smaller friends. Nicely presented home-made play-doh with some Easter cookie cutters will make a lovely gift when visiting friends or family at Easter (that’s if they have children, otherwise it would be totally weird!)
We hope that everyone enjoys Easter and that some of these ideas prove useful. Don’t forget to read my 2016 guide here.
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karen anderson says
These are some great idea’s for easter fun for kids with special needs !!!!! An for kids that are not special needs . thank you for sharing your great ideas !!!!! I hope you have a happy easter and a blessed day !!!!
Hi Karen, Thanks for the feedback. I am glad you like the ideas. Julie
Santa Rick says
Hi Karen Happy Easter.
Thank You For the Easter fun for Special Kids.
I have shared on my timeline, Santa Central Coast.
Many people follow my page all through the year.
Our Grandson Ethan Clough had CP, he would have been 11 on 11th April.
Keep up the good work and I will share your stories.
Hi Santa Rick,
Thanks for the lovely feedback. I am sorry to hear about your grandson but it is lovely to see you are sharing information that can help others. Thanks for stopping by. Julie
Will definetly try out the eggs on the wall! Great idea!!!
I hope it goes well. Happy Easter Melanie. Julie