10 Inclusive Sports to Play at Home
Sport is a great way to get exercise. As well as improving strength and stamina, sport is known to boost confidence and self-esteem. It’s also lots of fun!
Participating in sports-related activities from a young age is a great way for our child to build their skills, coordination and their confidence. This will also make them more likely to engage with exercise as they grow.
Below we share whole host of sporty ideas we can try with our child at home. They are best for children who are walking, though some can be played sitting. Some games can be played with several children present (great if siblings want to get involved!). However, many can be played one on one with our child, or just with our child playing alone.
Here are some great adapted and inclusive sports to play at home
You can set up a volleyball court with a piece of string between 2 walls in a corridor or between 2 chairs. The aim is to make the balloon/ ball touch the floor on your opponent’s side of the string.
A corridor is great for this if your child has less accurate arm function as the walls keep the balloon in reach.
If your child is more mobile, bring the chairs to the middle of the room and further apart to make your child move around more to keep the balloon off the ground.
Set up a laundry basket or draw a circle on a piece of paper and stick it to the wall or the floor for a goal.
Try to score a goal from different places – getting further away with each successful shot.
Siblings can join in too – challenge them to adopt the same position as their disabled sibling – e.g. sitting/ high kneeling.
Use a smaller ball or a smaller goal to challenge them further.
Set up 10 bowling pins in a triangle shape – use loo roll inners, empty tins or empty plastic bottles if you don’t have skittles.
Choose your ball depending on your child’s hand skills. For example if they have increased tone or reduced hand function, use a soft toy, socks or other easy to hold objects OR just roll a ball along the ground if your child has problems with release. If they have better coordination, use a smaller or harder ball.
Try to knock over all the skittles. See how many tries it takes to knock them down.
Get further away from the skittles as your child improves.
Try this with your child in some different positions – in their supportive chair, on their hands and knees or up high on their knees to work their muscles further.
This is a fabulous and fully inclusive sport similar to Bowles. See this Our Home video which explains how to play the game.
Dribble a balloon around the house using their hands or a bat/ broom stick.
You could set up an obstacle course with chairs and a goal at the end for a single child game.
For a more dexterous child, keeping the balloon in the air while they crawl or walk around the house will keep them entertained and use up lots of energy.
Bristol Bears have created this fantastic series for those with more profound learning needs. They use very simple language and makaton, give plenty of time for processing information and have a lovely variety of activities to try or engage with.
Here we have an example of their first exercise session:
Join in with as much as you can and help your child to move where possible.
See all their videos on their You-Tube site: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpx3Y7rl9HmojNnJdcfUizQ
This great series Tennis at Home done by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) provides simple ideas to practice your tennis skills in your back garden or in a room with a few meters of space.
If you don’t have a tennis racket you can still try these games with a fly swatter, any other kind of bat, a roll of wrapping paper or a broom. You could use socks, a balloon or scrunched up paper instead of a ball.
The activities vary in difficulty but most can be played from a wheelchair or chair or in kneeling or standing.
Table cricket is played by people with all disabilities. It is a great game to play with all the family and can be played using a regular table.
This video Keeping fit and healthy at home: Table top tennis gives a quick demonstration of how to set up and play table cricket in the home.
Visit this video by the Lords Taverners Lord’s Taverners | Rules of Table Cricket for more detailed explanations of how to play this great inclusive game.
This video Off The Couch | Ball skill challenge to try at home | Mickey Quinn gives some lovely and very challenging ideas of what to do with a ball to improve your ball handling skills at home. Some can be practiced from your wheelchair but others will need adapting.
Make an obstacle course which your child needs to dribble around – depending on their skills, they could go around objects or furniture or even try to shoot between 2 chairs as goals.
If your child is mobile, challenge them to go all the way around the house – up and down stairs, over furniture etc