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Travel often has an unexpected benefit of opening my eyes to ideas for adapted equipment. I’m always on the look out and get excited to see basic toys which can be transformed into accessible play for children with additional needs. So I’ve decided to put together a post on travel inspired adapted games which I thought some of our clever readers could make at home.

I know many of you find it hard to buy store bought presents that work for your child or teen so why not plan ahead and make something. If you are time poor this could be a project for a clever grandparent or maybe a local volunteer organisation like Men’s Shed.


The boards pictured below were at a market and were described as toddler busy boards. I thought they would make an interesting way for children of varying ages to improve their hand skills.

Busy board
Busy boards

These boards would require a child to use a variety of skills to operate the locks, the zipper, the Velcro strip and the other bits and pieces. I can see lots of our clever parents being able to make one of these that could sit on a table-top, wheelchair tray or could be mounted on a wall for access.


Questacon had this great pin ball machine. BJ could manage to operate it but lacked the power to make the ball go to the top. He may have had better luck if it was adjusted to a better height.

Pinball machine
Pinball machine

BJ loved this game.


These puzzles are available in toy stores and I love the idea of them being mounted. BJ couldn’t manage them because he isn’t stable enough but this could suit other children.

magnetic puzzles
Magnetic puzzles

These were at a good wheelchair height.


BJ always loved water play when he was younger and I wish I had seen this idea early on. Obviously this one at Mini Q, Questacon is fairly sophisticated but I just love the idea of the supportive chair at water play height.

raised water play
Raised water play


These sound makers are easily found in shops and this one has been mounted to a disc which turns. When it turns it makes the noise plus there is a visual of the beads going through the plastic.

Mounted sound maker
Mounted sound maker


This home-made segmented tray allows a person to explore the difference between magnetic items and those that are not.

Magnetic tray
Magnetic tray

I was so enthused when I first saw this that I went to a dollar store and bought a tray in readiness for Hubby to make it. We had some Perspex sitting around and lots of magnetic toys. It hasn’t been made as yet but I still think it is super cool.


I thought this could be adapted for different skills for a child. It could be made into a noughts & crosses game or a game of strength where a child needs to push them down through the holes.

perspex game
Perspex game


A mixture of plumbing pipe and see through pipe makes for a fun ball run. This would be great mounted to a wall outside at wheelchair or walking frame height.

Ball run
Ball run

This game would also be good entertainment for a child needing to be in a standing frame daily.

ball run
Ball run

Judging by the number of kids lining up to have a go, this would also encourage inclusion and playing side-by-side with peers.

Play is such an important part of childhood and many children with special needs require lots of encouragement to improve their fine motor skills. Others may need certain games to help with visual attention or tracking. Thinking outside the box can come up with entertainment which is motivating and fun.

If you like this post you may also like our Equipment Solutions blog where many of our clever parents shared their ideas.

We’d love you to share any home-made equipment or games you’ve made either here in comments or over on Facebook.


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