Games all children can play

This guide shows how disabled and non-disabled children can easily play together

Video describing Games All Children Can Play
View a transcript of this film

Games All Children Can Play

In this film, families talk about why inclusive play has been so important to them.

Our guide is for families and group leaders who work in any play setting with disabled and non-disabled children.

See all the games your child can play

All of the games use simple and easy-to-use equipment, which can be conveniently carried in an everyday large sports bag. We have tested the equipment in specialised settings, where the families and friends of disabled and non-disabled children were invited to an activity afternoon. We encouraged all of the children to play together.

Taking part in play

Participation starts with the planning and thinking that goes into making activities enjoyable and successful for all children. It means that they we don't assume how the child will join in.

For example, the activity may be one that the child could access in a wheeled chair. It might also provide opportunities for independent movement on the floor or take place in a standing or in high-kneeling position, and this can provide opportunities for changes of position.

Basic play equipment

  • Hairdryer and extension lead to inflate the Giant Triangle and play Hot Air Ballooning
  • Bicycle pump and balloons for Balloon Toss
  • Ping pong balls, Inflatable, fluffy, foam or sponge balls for catching games
  • Bean bags for Pass and Drop
  • Juggling scarves: can be tied around bean bags for ease of catching and tracking with the eyes
  • Shuttlecocks and target toss mat: see Toss at a Target
  • Parachute or space blanket for Wriggle Run
  • Coloured feathers: for blowing games and to stick to ping pong balls or attach to juggling scarves
  • Skittles: to roll along a plinth, down a tube, line up and knock down
  • Bath toys in water play: to float, grab, squeeze, blow
  • Coloured spots: to mark a trail or to play Twister
  • Timer for Treasure Hunt

What is healthy risk-taking?

As a child, there may be risks in the everyday rough and tumble of exploring our surroundings at home or outside. This is healthy risk-taking, even though parents or carers are careful to take all necessary safety precautions.

When a disabled child wants to try to be more independent, try out a new game or pastime or go it alone, we may hedge their actions with safety precautions. Some of these safety precautions are about our fears for the child and some are about our fears for ourselves. We often assess risks as if we can rule them out completely and are unwilling to subject ourselves or the children to anything that might carry risk.

There are risks inherent in life and when we work with disabled children we accept it may involve some risk to ourselves. The dignity and rights of disabled people should be our first consideration.

Why is healthy risk-taking important?

  • When we accept a challenge there is a chance we might not succeed, we might get hurt, or we might be upset.
  • We learn as children that there are things we can and cannot do.
  • We learn to try harder, to persevere and to accept that we will not always win.
  • Some limited risk is a routine part of play and of growing up.

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