Submitted by Ally M., Sprout Contributor

Crafts are a great way for children with special needs to express feelings, enhance social skills and cognitive functioning, resolve frustrations, special needs children to support and encourage children to express feelings, enhance their social skills, cognitive functioning and coping skills, and increases their use of sensorimotor skills including sensory stimulation and hand-eye coordination.

Here are three craft ideas that are great activities for children with special needs:

Musical Artwork

This sensory-based project mixes music and art to make a fun craft:

  1. Place the tip of a pencil or magic marker in the middle of a piece of paper.
  2. Tell the child to close their eyes
  3. Start playing a song on an iPod or CD Player
  4. Tell your child to move the pencil or marker to the music
  5. Change the song at random times throughout the activity
  6. When the paper is full, ask the child to open their eyes and see their works
  7. Give the child the option to fill in the spaces between the lines to make a design

Sponge Paintings 

This sponge painting activity allows children to express their feelings, hand eye coordination and stimulates their senses while having a great time.

  1. Cut sponges into various shapes (squares, triangles, diamonds etc.)
  2. Dip sponges in paint and dab them onto scrap paper to remove the excess paint
  3. Use the sponges to create pictures on cardboard or other heavy paper.
  4. Specific pictures can be created or just fancy designs. It’s all up to you.

Sensory Book

Creating a sensory book is a great opportunity for your child to participate in a craft that can also be used as an ongoing learning tool.

  1. Cut pages from a sturdy paper such as cardboard or tag board.
  2. Give your child a variety of materials in different colors and textures. Felt, carpet remnants, tinfoil, faux fur, sandpaper and cellophane are all good choices.
  3. Let them choose their favorites and glue a different texture to each page.
  4. Consider writing the adjective below — bumpy, scratchy, soft and crinkly.
  5. Punch holes in the spine of the book and secure it with binder rings.

Sources: Love That Max: Special Needs Blog, The Bump